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J I93 6 

Sir William Foster, C.I.E., President. 

The Rioht Hon. Stanley Baldwin, P.C., M.P., Vice-President. 
Major-General Sir Percy Cox, G.C.M.G., G.C.I.E., K.C.S.I., 

Sir Arnold Wilson, K.C.I.E., C.S.I., C.M.G., D.S.O., M.P., 

J. N. L. Baker, Esq. 

E. W. Bovill, Esq. 

Sir Richard Burn, C.S.I. 

G. R. Crone, Esq. 

E. W. Gilbert, Esq. 

Admiral Sir William Goodhnouoh, G.C.B., M.V.O. 

Vincent T. Harlow, Esq., D.Litt. 

A. R. Hinks, Esq., C.B.E., F.R.S. 

T. A. Joyce, Esq., O.B.E. 

Prof. A. P. Newton, D.Lit. 

N. M. Pbnzer, Esq. 

S. T. Sheppard, Esq. 

Brigadier-General Sir Percy Sykes, K.C.I.E., C.B., C.M.G. 

Prof. E. G. R. Taylor, D.Sc. 

Roland V. Vernon, Esq., C.B. 

J. A. Williamson, Esq., D.Lit. 

Edward Heawood, Esq., Treasurer. 

Edward Lynam, Esq., M.R.I.A., Hon. Secretary (British Museum, 

The President 
The Treasurer 
William Lutley Sclater 



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Translated and Edited 



Lttturer in Geography in tit University of Reading 






Central ARchaeoi orrr af 

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Preface ....... page ix 

Introduction ...... xi 

Select Bibliography . . . . . xxxiii 

Prologue: The beginning of the Esmeraldo de Situ 

Orbis ...... i 

The First Book, with a description of the greater 

circles and property of the earth . . 9 

The Second Book, describing the discoveries of 

King Afonso V of Portugal . . . 103 

The Third Book, concerning the discoveries of King 

John II of Portugal .... 139 

The Fourth Book, containing the discoveries of 

King Manuel of Portugal . . . 163 


I The Senegal-Niger-Nile controversy . '. 173 

II “There are other snakes a quarter of a league 


III The silent Barter . . . . . 176 

IV Note on the Map to illustrate the Esmeraldo de 

Situ Orbis ...... 179 

Index ....... 185 


Specimen Page of the Lisbon MS. of the Esmeraldo 



North-East Africa, from Ptolemy’s Geographia to face 16 
(Rome, 1507) 

Typical Illustration from the Roteiro of D. J0A0 

de Castro, 1541 ..... 37 

(British Museum, Cotton MS. Tib. D. ix) 

The North Atlantic Coast on an Italian Chart 

of c. 1508 ...... 65 

(British Museum, Egerton MS. 2803) 

The Middle Atlantic Coasts on an Italian Chart 

of c. 1508 ...... 106 

(British Museum, Egerton MS. 2803) 

The Coasts of West and South Africa on an Italian 

Chart of c. 1508 ..... 143 

(British Museum, Egerton MS. 2803) 

Portuguese Ships from the Roteiro of D. J0X0 de 

Castro, 1541 ...... 166 

(British Museum, Cotton MS. Tib. D. ix) 

Outline Maps of West Africa to illustrate the 

at END 


The Great Age of Discovery has had many historians; and not 
without good reason, for it has provided an extraordinarily 
fertile field for investigation. But it is unfortunate that so much 
attention should have been focused upon the leading characters 
of the period, and so little upon the lesser, as it has caused many 
of the less spectacular achievements to suffer neglect. Even so, 
it is surprising that the work of a man like Duarte Pacheco, who, 
in his own day, was deemed—for a time at any rate—to be as 
eminent as Vasco da Gama, should have lain practically un¬ 
noticed for nearly four hundred years; not until 1892, the 
quater-centenary of Columbus’s epochal voyage, was the 
Esmeraldo de Situ Orbis first published. With the development 
of the modern concept of historical geography in the present 
century, documents of this character have come to possess an 
altogether new significance, so that an English translation of this 
work—providing, as it does, the only detailed, contemporary 
eyewitness’s description of the African coasts—is well overdue. 

In preparing this translation I have been fortunate enough to 
enjoy the co-operation of Mr Aubrey Bell, whose skill, both 
linguistic and literary, has greatly lightened my task. Indeed 
it is doubtful whether it would have been fulfilled without him. 
To him, therefore, I tender my warmest gratitude. My cordial 
thanks are also due to Professor E. Prestage for much invaluable 
help in elucidating difficult passages; to my colleague Mr W. F. 
Morris, for undertaking to construct a map of West Africa 



from internal data, and for supplying an explanatory note; to 
Sir William Foster, for many helpful suggestions and for reading 
the proofs; and finally to Mr E. Lynam, for seeing the book 
through the press and for unnumbered incidental kindnesses 
shown at a time when he was troubled with ill-health. 


December 1936 


I T is nowadays widely accepted that the Portuguese were the 
founders of nautical science. Before their time maritime 
enterprise had been conducted largely by private individuals 
or by small companies of adventurers; as few of these men 
recorded their undertakings, kept logs or drew charts, their 
experiences had little or no cumulative value and each generation 
was as ignorant as its predecessor. So long as their seafaring 
activities were confined to the Mediterranean and adjacent 
waters, navigation “by God and by guess,” although attended 
by grave risks, served them well enough. But when, in the early 
years of the fifteenth century, men began to plan the maritime 
exploration of the unknown Torrid Zone and the Southern 
Hemisphere, it became clear that empiricism in nautical matters 
could no longer be relied upon. The rise of nautical science in 
Portugal was the logical outcome of the needs created by these 

The history of this development has been so thoroughly 
investigated in recent years by Dr Joaquim Bensaude 1 and others 
that anything more than a passing reference to the general 
nautical methods and equipment of the Portuguese pioneers 
would be out of place in this introduction, all the more so as the 
narrative that follows answers many of the questions we might 
be tempted to ask. For instance, Pacheco tells us how latitude 
is calculated with the help of the astrolabe, quadrant and 
Regimento 1 ; how mariners find their way along strange coasts 3 ; 
how tides are calculated 4 ; the sizes and kinds of vessels com¬ 
monly employed in African waters 3 . Even so, it is not possible 
to measure the nautical accomplishments of the Portuguese by 
the yardstick of the Esmeraldo de Situ Orbis: in fact so much of 
the work carried but by them has perished that there is no means 

* L’Astronomie nautique au Portugal d Vipoque (Us grander ddcouvertes, 1912. 
There is a very useful summary of Portuguese nautical practice c. 1500 in 
E. Prestage, Portuguese Pioneers, chap. 14. 

* Book 1, chap. xo. 3 Book 11, chap, xo et passim. 

4 Book II, chaps, x, 3. 5 Book iv, chap. 2. 



of accurately determining the Portuguese contribution to nautical 
science. In the first place, nothing of the work of Master Jacome 
—the most famous Catalan cartographer of his day (whom 
Prince Henry secured for his School of Sagres)—is extant. 
Further, no fifteenth-century map of Portuguese provenance and 
comparatively few of the early sixteenth century have survived. 
The same dearth prevails as regards nautical documents; a mere 
handful of navigation manuals, instructions to pilots, logs and 
rutters has come down to us from this early period, and again 
none from the fifteenth century 1 . That there must have been 
maps is apparent when we recall the allusions to them in Zurara: 
e.g. “they [i.e. the 51 caravels sent out before 1446 by Prince 
Henry] went 450 leagues beyond Cape Bojador and all that coast 
was found to run southwards with many points which our Prince 
caused to be added to the sailing chart 3 ,” and the declaration of 
Alfonso V that until Henry’s time “ no one knew anything of the 
land beyond Cape Bojador, nor was it marked on sailing charts 
and mappaemundi save as men pleased^.” That there were 
rutters and textbooks of navigation in the same period is less 
certain. Zurara does not mention them, nor do the other 
chroniclers of that century. Fontoura da Costa surmises, how¬ 
ever, that Portuguese “ roteiros ” began to be compiled soon after 
the doubling of Cape Bojador in 1434 4 . 

Whatever the explanation of their scarcity, there is no doubt 
that the discovery of India at the end of the century gave a 
tremendous impetus to the detailed description of the new sea 
route, for manuals on navigation and sailing directions began to 
appear in the first decade of the sixteenth century and were 
published thereafter at frequent intervals. At first these were 
the work of the Portuguese exclusively; later on, similar works 
by English and Dutch writers were produced. From them have 
sprung the excellent “Pilot” books of the present day. 

* The so-called “roteiro ” of Vasco da Gama’s first voyage is only a rather 
simple diary of the voyage and is very deficient in scientific observations. 

* Chap. 78. Discovery and Conquest of Guinea (Hakluyt Society). 

5 Alguns Documentor do Archivo Nacional .. .Acerca das Navegaf&es e 
Conquistas Porluguezas, p. 8. 

4 A Marinharia dos descobrimentos, vide C. R. Boxer, “Portuguese Roteiros, 
1500-1700,” Manner’s Mirror, vol. xx, April 1934, p. 172. 



If we exclude some rather crude rutters of uncertain date by 
G. Pires and J. Rodrigues 1 , then the earliest dated Portuguese 
“roteiro” is the Esmeraldo de Situ Orbis. 


Comparatively little is known of the early life of Duarte Pacheco 
Pereira. The son of Jo2o Pacheco, a scion of a distinguished 
Portuguese family, he is usually regarded as having been born 
about the middle of the fifteenth century. This belief is based 
upon the fact that the capture of Arzila in 1471, at which the 
writer of the Esmeraldo says he was present 2 —presumably as a 
soldier—is the earliest recorded biographical detail. 

Elsewhere in the same book Pacheco tells us that he was bom 
in Lisbon 5 , that he was employed by King John II of Portugal 
in African waters and that, in company with others of the King’s 
captains, he discovered “many places and rivers along the coast 
of Guinea 4 .” From another chapter 5 it would appear, further¬ 
more, that Pacheco was associated with Diogo d’Azumbuja in 
the founding of the castle of S. Jorze da Mina. By 1498 his 
reputation as a navigator was so well established that King 
Manuel I despatched him, secretly it would seem 6 , to discover 
“the Western region 7 .” This resulted in the discovery of “a 
very large landmass, with many large islands adjacent 8 .” Two 
years later Pacheco went out again with Cabral, who had orders to 
touch at the Brazilian coast (which Pacheco had apparently 
sighted) before going on to India. 

For the next chapter in his history we have a more detailed 
record to draw upon. In 1503 King Manuel sent Pacheco out 
to India with the Albuquerques. Shortly after his arrival there 
he led an expedition against the fleet of Calicut with such success 
that “the fame of the Portuguese arms was spread everywhere 
and the merchants were afraid to bring their spices to Cochin*.” 

1 Vide C. R. Boxer, op. cit. p. 173. * Book n, Prologue. 

3 Book 1, chap. 23; book iv, chap. 4. 

4 Book 1, Prologue. * Book n, chap. 5. 

4 Vide E. Prestage, Portuguese Pioneers, p. 277. 

7 Book 1, chap. 2. ' Ibid. 

9 J. Osorio, The History of the Portuguese during the Reign of Emmanuel 
(trans. by J. Gibbs), vol. 1, p. 167. 



Even greater success came in 1504 after the Albuquerques had 
left India and Pacheco was in entire charge of the garrison, fleet, 
and factory. In March of that year he launched an attack against 
the Samuri; by his “assiduity and bravery.. .this formidable 
war was brought to a conclusion in five months, during which 
time the enemy is computed to have lost about 19,000 men 
together with a considerable number of their ships 1 .” In the 
following year he returned to Lisbon, where he was received 
with great honour. “His expedition in carrying on war, his 
magnanimity in the greatest dangers, his steadiness in enduring 
hardships and his success in battle were extolled to the skies. 
The King ordered a public thanksgiving on his account and 
made a pompous procession with the court from the cathedral 
to St Dominic’s church. He made Pacheco walk by his side that 
all might see what respect he paid to bravery. After they came 
to the church, Diogo Ortiz, Bishop of Vizeu, pronounced an 
oration, wherein he copiously set forth the illustrious and 
admirable exploits of Pacheco and piously concluded by ascribing 
all to the glory of God. Nor was Emmanuel satisfied with doing 
him this great honour; he likewise wrote letters to almost all the 
Christian princes, wherein he extolled Pacheco’s actions with 
due applause, that his fame and renown might spread through 
Christendom 3 .” 

From this time onwards information concerning Pacheco 
again becomes meagre. His strenuous life of the previous six or 
seven years and the award of a pension of 20 milreis may help 
to explain his apparent retirement (from public life) during the 
next few years. At all events we do not meet him again until 
1509. The intervening time was not all spent idly however, for 
it was during this period of his life that the Esmeraldo was 
partly, if not entirely, written*. In 1509 Pacheco temporarily 
returned to a more active occupation, for in the January of that 
year we find him conducting an expedition against the French 
pirate Mondragon, whom he succeeded in capturing off Cape 
Finisterre. In addition to this brilliant excursion back into 

* J. Osorio, The History 0/ the Portuguese during the Reign of Emmanuel 
(trsns. by J. Gibbs), vol. 1, p. 167. 

* J. Osorio, op. eit. p. 220. 

3 Vide infra, pp. xvi et seq. 



maritime affairs Pacheco appears to have been captain of a 
Portuguese fleet that guarded the Straits of Gibraltar c. 1511 1 ; 
how long he continued to hold this position it is difficult to tell. 
Suffice it to say that we do not hear of him playing any further 
active part in the affairs of the State until the end of the decade. 
In fact, between 1509 and 1519 there are only half a dozen 
documents extant that bear on Pacheco’s life, and none of these 
is very revealing; they simply record matters relating to the 
renewal of his State pension and to his association with other 
distinguished men*. In view of his almost unique geographical 
and nautical knowledge it is difficult not to believe that he was 
employed by King Manuel as an adviser on colonial policy, even 
if by now he was too old to undertake further expeditions. But 
these are merely hypotheses which, in the absence of any 
evidence, are of little worth. 

Pacheco’s last public charge, so far as our scanty knowledge 
goes, was the governorship of the castle of S. Jorze da Mina. 
This position he seems to have held from 1520 to 1522; in the 
latter year he was recalled and succeeded by Afonso d’Albu- 
querque, son of the Albuquerque of Indian fame. The circum¬ 
stances of his recall are described by Osorio thus: “ Pacheco being 
greatly envied there, he was accused by his enemies of having 
defrauded the King of a great quantity of gold and of having 
been guilty of many scandalous and villainous practices. The 
King therefore ordered him home in irons, where he lived in a 
very miserable condition, in close confinement for a considerable 
time, till the affair being more carefully enquired into, it appeared 
that the crimes laid to his charge were either without foundation 
or such as did not deserve such severe punishment. Then indeed 
he was released from prison and restored to his dignity, but did 
not meet with a reward suitable to his great merit, and spent the 
remainder of his days in obscure poverty 3 .” His subsequent 
movements are all unknown. We only know that he was still 

* Vide Sousa Viterbo, Trabalfios nauticos dot Portugueses nos Seculot XVI 
e XVII, vol. 1, pp. 238 et seq. 

1 Vide R. E. de Azevedo Basto, Esmeraldo de Situ Orbit, ediflo commemo- 
rativa, 1892, pp. xx et seq. 

J J. Osorio, op. cit. pp. 220, 221. 



alive on February 5th, 1526 s ; and from a provision of King 
John of June 22nd, 1534, in which he awards an annual pension 
of 20 milreis to Jo 5 o Fernando Pacheco, Duarte Pacheco’s son, 
we may not unreasonably assume that Duarte was no longer 
living by that date. More precise we are scarcely able to be. 


The Esmcraldo receives practically no mention in contemporary 
literature. It is therefore very fortunate that the evidence of 
the work itself should leave us in little doubt as to its approximate 
date. A rough terminus a quo is provided by the author’s 
reference, in the Prologue, to the discoveries of Vasco da Gama 
of 1497-1499, while an equally rough terminus ante quern is forth¬ 
coming in the last chapter of book iv, where Pacheco still 
continues to refer to King Manuel (d. 1521) as “our Sovereign 
Lord.” Now it is obvious that Pacheco was not twenty years 
writing the Esmeraldo, even if we suppose for the moment that 
he did actually complete his task and write five books instead 
of three and a few chapters of a fourth 1 . When, therefore, was 
he actively engaged upon it? While the evidence does not permit 
of a final answer to this question, it does allow us to be slightly 
more specific. In the first place, as Pacheco was abroad most 
of the time from 1498 to 1505 it is very unlikely that he com¬ 
menced to write until his return from India. An examination 
of the two passages of the text containing definite dating material 
strengthens this view. The first of these occurs in chapter 14 of 
book 1 and runs as follows: “ It is now about ninety years since 
Cepta was captured by force of arms from the Moors by King 
John I of glorious memory.. .the other three [towns Alcacer, 
Tangier and Arzila] were taken by King Afonso V, your uncle, 
47 years ago.” Ceuta was taken in July 1415 under the leadership 
of Prince Henry the Navigator; adding 90 years we arrive at 
1505 as the approximate time of writing. This date is confirmed 
by the statement about Alcacer, which was captured in 1458. 
Tangier and Arzila, on the other hand, were not taken until 

* Vide Azevedo Basto, op. cit. pp. xxiii, xxiv. 

’ Vide infra, pp. xxix, xxx. 



1471; on this reckoning the Esmeraldo must be allocated to the 
end of the following decade, namely 1518. As Pacheco himself 
tells us in the Prologue to book 11 that Alcacer was taken in 1458 
and Arzila in 1471 it is not possible to say with assurance which 
year the writer had in mind when he wrote “47 years ago.” 

In a later passage Pacheco tells us that “in the year of Our 
Lord 1506 your Highness ordered a castle to be built on the 
mainland in this town of Moguador hard by the sea... .This 
was constructed and commanded by Dieguo d’Azambuja.. 

As this event is referred to in the past tense, the passage was 
clearly written after 1506. From this passage onwards all the 
dating material points to a date later than 1505, but not later 
than 1508. Dr Jaime Cortesao, who has studied the question 
very fully, is of the opinion that the first fifteen chapters, or 
somewhat less than a quarter of the work, were written during 
the last months of 1505, the remainder between 1507 and 1508*. 


The title of Pacheco’s work is puzzling. De Situ Orbis, of course, 
needs no explanation; it was commonly incorporated into the 
headings of treatises of cosmography from the time of Pom- 
ponius Mela onwards. Esmeraldo , however, is an unusual word. 
Several attempts have been made to explain it, but none of them 
is completely satisfactory. Epiphanio da Silva Dias 3 has sug¬ 
gested that Pacheco may have followed the example set by an 
Arab writer of the first half of the fourteenth century, one 
Ibn-al-Wardi, who entitled a work on geography and natural 
history A Precious Stone of Marvels and a Pearl of Memorable 
Things. The objections to this view are twofold; in the first place 
there appears to be no reason for supposing that Pacheco was 
acquainted with this book, and, secondly, it is difficult to see why 
he should prefer to use the Italian termination of the word for 
“ emerald ” to the Portuguese (and Spanish) form—“ csmeralda.” 

* Book 1, chap. 19. 

* “ Influ£ncia dos Descobrimentos dos Portuguese na histbria da civiii- 
safao,” in Histories de Portugal, vol. rv, p. 228. 

3 Esmeraldo de Situ Orbis, edigio critics annotada, 1905. P- 4- 



Luciano Pereira da Silva has an even more ingenious solution 
to offer 1 . He holds that Esmeraldo is an anagram of the names 
Emmanuel (Manuel) and Eduardus (Duarte). This explanation 
appears to be even less probable than the first, for the word 
Esmeraldo does not contain all the letters of the two Christian 
names in question, indeed it does not contain the requisite letters 
to form either name; furthermore, it is unlikely that Pacheco, 
who, throughout his work, refers with the utmost respect to his 
sovereign, should have taken the liberty of coupling his name 
with that of King Manuel. 

A third and very reasonable explanation has been suggested 
to me by Dr George Sheppard. In his opinion the word 
Esmeraldo is akin philologically to the Spanish word “ esmerado ” 
(=guide). Certainly the Esmeraldo de Situ Orbis is first and 
foremost a guide to navigation. 


Though the title is obscure, there is nothing obscure about the 
scope and aim of the book. In the author’s own introductory 
words, his intention is to write “a book of cosmography and 
navigation.” Because of the orientation of Portuguese interests 
he will limit himself to two of the four continents, Africa and 
Asia; all that concerns navigation he will describe at great length: 
“ thus all the routes will be stated, namely the position of places 
and promontories in relation to one another, in order that this 
work may have an ordered basis and that the coast may be 
navigated in greater safety: similarly the landmarks and shallows, 
for these are essential; and the soundings, both their depths and 
the kind of bottom, whether it be mud or sand or rock or 
gravel or snags or shingle, and the distance of the soundings 
from land: similarly the tides, whether they flow NE and 
SW as in our Spain, or N and S or E and W or NW and SE, 
which it is essential to know in order to be able to enter 
and leave the bars and mouths of rivers: further, the altitudes 
of the poles, by which one may know the latitude of a place and 

1 Historia da Colottisafao Porluguesa do Brasil, vol. I, p. 249. 



its distance from the Equator.’* He says he will also describe 
the inhabitants of the land of Ethiopia and their way of life. 

Unfortunately the project does not seem to have been entirely 
realised. Three of the five books contemplated are extant and 
a part of the fourth, carrying the description down to the Rio 
do Infante in South Africa. Now in view of what we know of 
Pacheco’s life and of the fact that the body of the work seems 
to have been written soon after his return from India, it is 
difficult to see why the Esmeraldo should not have been com¬ 
pleted, especially as it was in the fourth and fifth books that the 
author promised to deal with the hitherto undescribed south¬ 
eastern and eastern coastline of Africa 1 . 

As far as the work goes it certainly fulfils the author’s promises. 
After twelve introductory chapters on general geographical topics 
such as the territorial division of the earth, the course of the 
Nile, tidal phenomena and the calculation of latitudes, Pacheco 
commences his systematic description of the coastline. Through¬ 
out this part of the work he follows a rigorously disciplined order 
of treatment, embellished here and there by historical anecdotes 
and personal opinions that at once reveal the calibre of the writer 
and the state of contemporary knowledge. Compared with 
contemporary works like Enciso’s Suma de Geographia y the 
Esmeraldo offers a more detailed and circumstantial account of 
the coast. Whereas much of Enciso’s information could have 
been obtained, and undoubtedly was obtained, from charts, 
Pacheco’s has all the traits of personal or eyewitness narrative; 
but this is not surprising in view of the part Pacheco played in 
the discovery of the Guinea coast. 


In sharp contrast, however, to the up-to-date character of 
Pacheco’s geographical knowledge of W. Africa is the mediaeval, 
even classical, bias of his knowledge of the rest of the world. 
For instance, in lauding King Manuel he says “your glorious 
fame... sounds through the whole of Europe and Africa, Arabia, 
Persia, through the lands of the Elamites, Babylonians, Chaldeans, 
1 Vide pp. xxviii et teq. for a possible explanation of this anomaly. 



Medes, Assyrians, Parthians, Phoenicians.. .it even penetrates to 
the very distant and ferocious peoples of Cithas and the most 
wealthy kingdoms of India 1 ”—a catalogue that would have been 
more appropriate to Herodotus’s day than to Pacheco’s. His 
description of the Ocean is also strangely reminiscent of classical 
writings 1 , while his fivefold division of Africa into the provinces 
of Libya, Mauretania, Tingitania, Atlantica and Ethiopia is 
openly borrowed from the Ancients, upon whom he does not 
attempt to improved He further shows his classical bias in 
employing the R. Nile and the R. Tanais (i.e. Don) as the 
boundary lines between Africa and Asia and between Europe 
and Asia respectively. Here and elsewhere the testimony of the 
Scriptures is added to that of such men as Strabo, Pliny, Mela 
and Ptolemy, both to give weight to the author’s arguments and 
to provide him with his “factual” basis. When he finds them in 
disagreement he is not above pursuing a highly meretricious 
middle path. His discussion of the problem of the Nile’s origin 
provides us with an illustration of his casuistry. It was a con¬ 
troversial subject in classical times, and Pacheco cannot have 
been ignorant of the obscurity surrounding it and the absence 
of data; notwithstanding he does not hesitate to proffer a 
solution. He rejects, rather surprisingly (seeing that he defers 
to them elsewhere), the views of Mela, Pliny and the Christian 
Fathers, and purports to base his statements “ according to the 
description of Ptolemy 4 ”; but whereas Ptolemy places the sources 
of the Nile in 12 S., Pacheco places them in 35 0 S., that is, in the 
Cape of Good Hope, and affirms that the“ rocky mountains [sic] of 
the Cape ’’ must be the Ptolemaic “ Montes LunaeV* This seems 
to suggest one of two things: either that Pacheco knew very little 
about Ptolemy’s Geographia, for it is expressly stated there that 
some of the Moon Mountains were so lofty as to be covered with 
snow and that the entire range stretched through 11 degrees of 
longitude, that is, some 700 miles 6 , or that he quoted Ptolemy 
and the other classical authorities, not because he accepted their 
authority, but in order that he might keep himself in countenance 

* Prologue, book 1. * Book 1, chap. 5. * Ibid. 

* Book I, chap. 4. 5 Ibid. 

‘ Geographia, book iv, chap. 8, para. iii. 



with the scholars of his day. His allusion to Pliny's description 
of the middle Nile inclines me to the latter view. After speaking 
of the island of Meroe which, he avers, is formed by the tem¬ 
porary bifurcation of the waters of the Nile, and which, according 
to Pliny, is very fertile and well populated, he continues: “ Pliny 
says further that the Nile flows for twenty days’ journey 
underground and then reappears as a new river, and that 
the inhabitants of that region believe that the Nile rises 
there 1 .” Now the context of this statement in the Natural 
History , from which Pacheco is quoting, is the paragraph dealing 
with the Western Nile 2 ; in Pliny’s opinion this formed part of 
the drainage system of the Egyptian Nile—an opinion that was 
completely at variance with Ptolemy’s, namely, that the two 
systems were separate. 

How little attention Pacheco paid to the substance of classical 
geography can be seen in his discussion of the cause of the Nile 
floods. Here he rejects all the classical theories—including 
Strabo’s, which was substantially correct and well-grounded— 
and sponsors the view that they are the result of the winter rains 
in the Southern Hemisphere. What sort of gradient the Nile 
would need to have in order to traverse 8500 miles—the minimal 
distance between 35 0 S. and the Mediterranean Sea—in “a few 
days* ” is left to our imagination. Leo Africanus, a contemporary 
of Pacheco, could have told him that the flood-waters take 
forty days and more to come down from the Abyssinian high¬ 
lands 4 . 

A somewhat different bias—this time towards biblical and 
ecclesiastical authority—but the same casuistry is revealed in his 
treatment of “The Size and Greatness of the Earth and Sea 
and which of them is the larged.” In a word, Pacheco’s thesis is 
this: the earth is not surrounded by the sea, as was maintained 
by many of the philosophers, but rather “ the earth in its great¬ 
ness surrounds and contains all the waters in its concavity and 
centre.” After adducing arguments from Vincent of Beauvais’s 

* Book 1, chap. 4 - * Book v » ch*P- 5 * 

* Book 1, chap 4. 

4 History and Description of Africa, vol. Ill, p. 936 (Hakluyt Society). 

5 Book 1, chap. 2. 



commentary on the Psalter, he proceeds to argue that the recent 
discoveries of the Portuguese in the western Atlantic—which he 
regards himself as having initiated 1 —provide fresh evidence of 
his contention*. The immediate interest of the passage for us 
lies in the fact that Pacheco held this “large continent” to be 
continuous from north of the Arctic Circle to south of the Tropic 
of Capricorn. How did he arrive at this conclusion? There are 
his own personal observations and the findings of such other 
Portuguese explorers as Cabral, Coelho and the Corte Real 
brothers. Cabral can be quickly dismissed, as his Brazilian 
experience, whether fortuitous or planned, was only of some 
four or five days' duration. Gon^alo Coelho and FernSo de 
Noronha, accompanied; so it would seem, by Vespucci, followed 
up this landfall in 1501 and 1502 and succeeded in tracing the 
Brazilian coastline from about the latitude of Cape San Roque 
down to, if not beyond, the limit given by Pacheco. The Corte 
Real expeditions of 1500 and 1502 were prosecuted in northern 
waters; although the existing records of their work are meagre 
in the extreme, it appears likely that the north-east coast of 
North America was examined from about the latitude of Hudson 
Strait down to 50° N. This leaves some 50 degrees of coastline 
still unaccounted for. Did Pacheco explore this portion? We 
hardly think so. In the first place, had he done so he could not 
have failed to notice the vast embayment of the Caribbean Sea 
and the Gulf of Mexico with their possibility of a break in the 
continuity of the mainland*, and he could not have committed 
himself to the gross misstatement that, if “ from any other point of 
Europe, Africa or Asia [sic], we sail across the Ocean...through 
36 degrees of longitude [ = 648 leagues on his reckoning]... we find 

* The validity of Pacheco's claim to have "discovered and sailed along a 
large continent [Brazil?] ” I do not propose to discuss, as Mr W. B. Greenlee 
promises to give us a full investigation of the early American explorations of 
the Portuguese in his edition of the Cabral documents shortly to be published 
by the Hakluyt Society. 

* Book x, chap. 2. 

3 The continuity of this part of the American coastline was only established 
after Pineda’s voyage in 1519, but judging from the Reinel map of c. 1522 
(Bibliothique Nationale, Paris), this fact was not immediately accepted in 
Portugal. The Diogo Ribeiro planisphere of 1527 is the first Portuguese map 
to suggest the continuity of the Central American coastline. 



this land 1 .” To find land in middle latitudes he would need to 
go at least 800 leagues. In the second place he would not have 
come to the conclusion that “ this distant land is densely popu¬ 
lated 2 .” In the third place, while Pacheco gives the latitude of 
several places in Brazil, stretching from 3 0 S. to z8J° S., he 
gives none for the central and northern parts of the new con- 

Where, then, did Pacheco derive his information? The corre¬ 
spondence of Pietro Pasqualigo, the Venetian, provides us with 
the clue. In a letter to the Seigneury of Venice, written from 
Lisbon in 1501, he says, speaking of the return of the first caravel 
of Gaspar Corte Real’s expedition: “the people of the caravel 
believe that the above land [Labrador?] is the mainland and that 
it joins the other land [Newfoundland? Greenland?] that in the 
previous year was discovered to the north by another caravel of 
His Majesty. But they were not able to reach it because the sea 
was frozen over with vast quantities of snow like mountains on 
the land. They also think that it is joined to the Andilie [i.e. 
Antilles] which were discovered by the Sovereigns of Spain, and 
with the land of Papagia [i.e. Brazil] lately discovered by the 
ship of this King [i.e. Manuel] when on its way to Calicut. This 
belief is caused, in the first place, because having coasted along 
the said land for a distance of 600 miles and more, they did not 
come to any termination; also because they report the discovery 
of many very large rivers which fall into the sea... V* In a letter 
(of almost the same date) to his brothers, Pasqualigo writes: 
“they say [i.e. the crew of the caravel] that this land [i.e. La¬ 
brador?] is very populous... .They have brought here seven of 
the natives, men, women, children, and 50 others will come in 
the other caravel which is expected from hour to hour 5 .’ 

From these letters it is clear that the continuity of the new 
continent was already postulated by the time of Pacheco’s return 
from the Cabral expedition and that Pacheco was not alone in 
regarding this distant land as being thickly populated. In the 

1 Book x, chap. 2. * Ibid. 

J Book I, chap. 7. 

4 C. R. Markham, Journal of Columbus, p. 232 (Hakluyt Society). 

J Ibid. 



absence of other evidence it would seem clear, furthermore, that 
these opinions of the Corte Real crew were the main ground of 
his confidence. What motive can our author have had in making 
so bold and baseless an assertion concerning these newly found 
lands? He himself tells us. He is out to demonstrate that “ the 
Ocean is only a very large lake set in the concavity of the earth 1 ” 
and that “the water only occupies a seventh part of the earth, 
as is shown in the fourth book of the prophet Esdras and the 
sixth chapter 3 .” For this to be even approximately true the new 
continent must “go round the whole globe*”; as “its end has 
not been seen or known 4 ” in Pacheco’s time, this was a quite 
plausible conjecture. As if to strengthen his own convictions he 
advances the ancient theory of the Antipodes, but both wrongly 
attributes and applies it*. 


In his treatment of the problems pertaining to navigation, 
Pacheco emancipates himself from the shackles of classical and 
ecclesiastical scholarship. Experience, not tradition, is his guide; 
witness such commonly repeated aphorisms as “Experience 
has disabused us of doubts and errors 6 .” His discussion of the 
calculation of latitude—one of the earliest Portuguese essays on 
the subject—is entirely practical and is easily the clearest and 
most concise explanation that had been given up to his time. 
After a general preamble he proceeds to formulate four rules for 
the finding of latitude: 

1. When the sun is between the observer and the equator, 
whether to the north or south of the equator, 

Latitude = 90°-(Altitude of sun at noon-its Declination). 

2. When the observer is between the sun and the equator, 
and the altitude and the declination together equal more than 90°, 

Latitude (N. or S.) = Altitude + Declination—90°. 

* Book 1, chap. 2. 

* Ibid. 

i Ibid. 

* Ibid. 

4 Ibid. 

6 Book 11, chap. XX. 



3. When the observer is between the sun and the equator, and 
the altitude and the declination together equal less than 90°, 

Latitude (N. or S.) = 90° — (Declination + Altitude). 

A moment’s reflection will suffice to show that Pacheco was 
in error here, for when the observer is between the sun and the 
equator the sun’s noon altitude and the declination must always 
be more than 90°. This formula, however, holds good for the 
case which he goes on to describe. 

4. When the equator is between the sun and the observer, 

as above. 

Compared with the methods described in the Munich Regi¬ 
men to, where seven cases are postulated, the directions in the 
Esmeraldo are remarkably succinct and comprehensive. In point 
of accuracy there is little to choose between the lists of latitudes 
given in the two works; if anything, Pacheco’s is the more precise. 
Naturally the degree of accuracy is greatest in those parts of 
Europe and Africa where measurements had been taken for a 
comparatively long time; but even in southern latitudes Pacheco’s 
figures are by no means wide of the mark. Thus he places the 
Cape of Good Hope in 34 0 30' S. 1 , Sofala 20° S. a and Cape San 
Roque 3 0 30' S .3 The enumeration of places with their latitudes 
south of the equator is noteworthy when we recall that King 
Manuel issued a decree in 1504 ordering the suppression of all 
information, including latitudes, bearing on the navigation of 
the African coast beyond Rio do Padram, i.e. 7 0 S. If, as we 
surmise 4 , the Esmeraldo was banned by the national inquisitors, 
this may well have been one of the contributory reasons. 

The problem of longitude was less tractable and Pacheco 
avoids it—in spite of an assurance to the contrary in an early 
chapter*. He contents himself with the rather naive statement 
that “ degrees of longitude are counted from orient to Occident, 
which the mariners call east and west, and this is difficult to 
ascertain because they have no firm and fixed point as are the 

* Actually 34° 22' S. 

J 2 0 out. 

* Book i, chap. 6. 

1 Actually 20® io' S. 
4 Vide infra, p. xxix. 



poles for the latitudes, and of this I will say no more 1 .” It was 
not until the following decade that the subject was first dealt 
with in the textbooks of navigation, and then only in a tentative 
fashion. Ruy Faleiro sought to establish a connection between 
the passage of the moon’s meridian and longitude; Francisco 
Faleiro argued that there was a connection between magnetic 
deviation and longitude. Jo 2 o de Castro and Pedro Nunes were 
non-committal. And so the search continued until finality was 
attained, some two centuries later, as a result of the invention 
of the chronometer. 

At the end of his general introduction Pacheco devotes his 
attention to the method of computing the ebb and flow of the • 
sea in the Iberian peninsula and in “other regions where there 
are tides 1 .” The relation between the moon’s course and the 
tides he takes for granted, but he grossly underestimates the 
complexity of the subject when he says that a knowledge of the 
lunar cycle will enable a mariner to judge how the tide stands 
no matter where he is. He did not know, what is now common 
knowledge, that the constituents of a tidal regime vary from 
place to place, that there are semi-diurnal, diurnal and longer 
period forces which operate in different ratios in different places, 
and he only seldom seemed to notice the varying effect of coastal 
configuration on the rhythm and occurrence of tides. His rather 
wordy account may be paraphrased as follows: 

1. There is an interval between one conjunction and the next 
of 29 days 12 hours and 33 minutes, the reckoning of the 
“ philosophers ” differing from that of the mariners by 3 minutes. 

2. As the “tidal day” is of the same length as the lunar day, 
there is a daily retardation of the tide of some 45 to 50 minutes. 

3. For this reason the state of the tide bears a close and 
calculable relationship with the moon’s position in the heavens. 

On the Atlantic coast of Portugal and Spain, for instance, it is I 

always high-water when the moon is in the north-east and south¬ 
west and low-water when the moon is in the south-east and 


1 Book 1, chap. 8. 

* Book 1, chaps, iz, ia. 



4. By using the relationship between the lunar cycle and solar 
time, it is possible to know exactly how the tide stands “ wherever 
we are, either inland far from sea or coming from the deep sea 
in search of land 1 .” Thus at the beginning of the new moon 
(i.e. at conjunction) the moon and the sun are in the north-east 
and so high-tide occurs at 3 a.m. 24 hours and 45 minutes later 
the moon is again in the north-east, but the sun will be a “ quarter 
point” further east, i.e. north-east by cast*, and so high-tide 
will occur at 3.45 a.m. On the following day the moon will be 
in the north-east at 4.30 a.m., i.e. when the sun is east-north¬ 
east. In other words high-tide comes a “quarter point” later 
every day. Accordingly, Pacheco says, “ he who wishes to calculate 
the tide must therefore see in what point of the compass the sun 
is and then count the number of days which have passed since 
the conjunction, counting a quarter point of the compass for 
each 24 hours up to 15 days or less, and according to the position 
of the moon will be the tide... 3 .” Up to this point his directions 
are explicit enough, but when he comes to the question of 
distributing the 45 'minutes’ daily time-lag round the points of 
the compass, he seems unable to grasp the implications of his 
own argument. Thus, having stated that, when the sun and moon 
are in conjunction, low-water occurs off the coast of Spain at 
9.0 a.m. (w’hen, according to his reckoning, the sun and moon 
are in the south-east), he goes on to tell us that high-tide will 
occur w r hen the sun is in the south-west, i.e. at 3.0 p.m., and 
the next low-tide when the sun is in the north-west, i.e. at 
9.0 p.m., whereas by hypothesis, high-tide will occur at 
3.1p.m. and low-tide at 9.22$ p.m. Apparently he did not 
realise that anything was wrong until he had w r orked round the 
compass points to the east, by which time, presumably, he could 
see that his method of reckoning was going to give 9.0 a.m. for 
the next low-tide, instead of 9.45, for at that juncture he inter¬ 
polates a sentence to the effect that, as the moon is 45 minutes 
behind the sun, it will no longer make the tide at the same time 

1 Book I, chap. ix. 

* The sun, theoretically, goes round the eight points of the compass every 
24 hours: therefore it passes from one “quarter point” to the next every 
45 minutes. 

3 Book I, chap. 12. 



as on the previous day. It is not until he comes to deal with the 
state of the tide when the sun is south-east by east that he 
assumes the 45 minutes’ time-lag to be in operation 1 . 

However, apart from a few f isolated lapses of this sort, 
Pacheco’s treatment of nautical matters is highly meritorious. 
Altogether the Esmeraldo deserves a much more prominent place 
in the annals of nautical history than it has so far been awarded. 


It has been shown by Dr Jaime Cortes 3 o 3 and others that, in 
pursuance of their ambition to hold a monopoly of the trade of 
Guinea and the adjacent coasts of Africa, successive kings of 
Portugal decided on the suppression of all information calculated 
to excite the interest and jealousy of other Powers. Further, 
vessels of other nations were prohibited from sailing into West 
African waters. Pacheco himself tells us of an expedition made 
by some Flemings in 1475 to Mina in defiance of this veto, and 
adds that their folly was suitably rewarded, “ for God gave them 
a bad end 3 .” 

John II (reigned 1481-1495) was the chief instigator in all 
this, using his energies to prevent leakage of information either 
from printed or manuscript sources, just at a time when 
foreigners were seeking by every means to acquire it. This, 
CortesSo points out, accounts for the almost complete silence 
of Ruy de Pina—the official chronicler of John II—on matters 
of discovery. In fact after 1448, the last year embraced by 
Zurara’s Chronicle, we are at pains to discover the sequence of 
events in exploration. In the reign of Manuel I, especially after 
the return of Cabral from India, the vigilance of the Portuguese 
government was intensified; it was, above all, anxious to prevent 
the export of maps, nautical instructions and pilots’ observations. 
“ It is impossible to get a chart of this voyage,” wrote an Italian 
agent, concerning Cabral’s expedition, “because the King has 

* Book 1, chap. 12, last paragraph. 

* Vide Lusitania, Jan. 1924: “The National Secret of the Portuguese 
Discoveries in the Fifteenth Century.” 

3 Book ii, chap. 3. 



decreed the death penalty for anyone sending one abroad 1 .” It 
is also said that navigating charts were sometimes only lent to 
navigators by the India House, and at the end of a voyage they 
had to be returned to that institution*. 

Very clear testimony to the effectiveness of this policy of 
suppression is provided by fifteenth-century cartography. The 
case of Behaim’s globe is fairly typical. It has been shown else- 
where 3 that the only known map bearing any resemblance in 
its West African nomenclature to the globe of 1492 is the 
Martellus map of about 1489 4 ; secondly, that it is impossible 
to detect the direct influence of Portuguese sailing charts either 
on Behaim’s nomenclature or on his delineation of the coast and, 
thirdly, that at least half of his West African place-names have 
no known source. Now if they had a bona fide source, it is almost 
certain that they must have been derived ultimately from 
Portugal, particularly as Behaim was intimately associated with 
the life of that country from 1484 to 1490. However, if this were 
so, it is difficult to see why these names should have remained 
entirely unutilised by later map-makers—a difficulty all the 
greater, if, as Behaim averred, he accompanied Diogo C 2 o on 
his second voyage, where the information would have been 
secured. Have we, then, to assume that Behaim invented 
50 per cent, of his nomenclature? The conclusion appears to 
be inevitable, but in the light of the Portuguese conspiracy of 
silence such a fabrication is readily understood. In Germany 
people were crying out for an up-to-date picture of the world 
that should incorporate the results of the Portuguese discoveries. 
Was Behaim to confess that the Portuguese had kept back the 
details, or was he to invent them? The desire to appear before 
his fellow-countrymen as a successful explorer as well as a great 
traveller may have dictated the answer. 

In face of evidence of this character it becomes quite feasible 
to suppose that the Esmeraldo came under the ban of the censor, 
and that the latter part of the work may after all have been 

1 Historia da ColonisafUo Portuguesa do Brasil, vol. 11, p. 227. 

* Vide E. Prestage, Portuguese Pioneers, p. 171. 

s G. H. T. Kimble: “Some Notes on Mediaeval Cartography,” Scottish 
Geographical Magazine, vol. xux, 1933, pp. 91 et sex I- 

4 Brit. Museum Additional MS. 15,760. 



written and portions subsequently suppressed in the interests of 
national policy. Tampering with documents was by no means 
unknown; it is now held by certain Portuguese scholars that 
even Zurara’s Chronicle was truncated 1 * 3 . Whatever the true 
explanation of its “unfinished” condition*, there can be little 
reasonable doubt that the Esmeraldo was censored; its map of 
the world* and its numerous unique sketches—“pintado pella 
natural ”—were of far too great importance to remain open to 
public inspection. Some scholars 4 , indeed, have gone as far as 
to suppose that the maps were extracted of set purpose from the 
manuscript, basing their opinion on the absence of the maps 
from the existing copies of the original; but this is unwarrantable 
because Barbosa Machado, who saw the original in the eighteenth 
century, reports that it contained eighteen illuminated maps, 
besides some sketches*. The fact that Machado’s reference is 
almost the only known allusion to the Esmeraldo in the first 
250 years of its history is perhaps the most eloquent testimony 
that can be borne to the success of “the conspiracy of silence.” 


The original manuscript of the Esmeraldo has been lost. How 
it was lost, or when, is unknown; it was still in existence in the 
middle of the eighteenth century as we have just said. Were it 
not for the fact that Barbosa Machado tells us that it was housed 
in the library of the Marqueses of Abrantes—situated some 
seventy miles from Lisbon—we might have been tempted to 
attribute its disappearance to the ravages of the great Lisbon 
earthquake of 1755; whatever its fate, it is not heard of again 

1 F-8- A. J. da Costa PimpSo, A Cronica de Guin 6 , vide E. Prestage, op. cit. 

P- 169. 

* I* i® just possible that there is an entirely different explanation, and that 
Pacheco was the victim of jealous intrigue; for in book 11, chap. 9, he com¬ 
plains of “railers, backbiters and slanderers” who were seeking to frustrate 
his design. 

3 Book 1, chap. 5. 

4 E.g. E. Prestage, op. cit. p. 171. 

3 BibhotecaLusitania, vide A. CortesSo, Cartografia e Cartografos Portugueses 
dot Seculos XV e XVI, vol. 11, chap. 8, pp. 105 et stq. 



after Machado’s time. There are, however, two copies extant, 
one in the Evora library 1 , and the other in the Biblioteca Nacional 
at Lisbon 3 . The Evora manuscript, according to the authority 
of Gabriel Pereira and Pedro de Azevedo, belongs to the reign 
of John V, that is, to the first half of the eighteenth century*. 
Raphael de Azevedo Basto, on the other hand, judges it to be 
in a late sixteenth-century hand, and to have belonged to the 
Bishop of Oporto, Rodrigo da Cunha 4 . The Lisbon manuscript, 
made on paper of the Lous 2 mill (founded in 1748), belongs 
on palasographic grounds to the second half of the eighteenth 
century. In a note at the end, written in a still later hand, it is 
stated that the manuscript appears to have been copied from the 
copy belonging to the aforesaid Bishop of Oporto 5 . This second 
copy, purchased by the Biblioteca Nacional in 1867, is thought 
by Basto to be the same as that which figures in the catalogue 


of the Evora library—compiled by Sr. Rivara—under Cod. 
with a note to the effect that on September 4th, 1844, it was taken 
from the library by order of one of the King’s ministers and was 
not restored. Basto believes, furthermore, that at no time have 
there existed more than the two copies cited in the Evora 
catalogue 6 . 

Of the two copies the older is reckoned to be the more faithful; 
such errors as it contains are due in all probability to obscurities 
in the original text. The Lisbon copy, in addition to perpetuating 
the errors of the earlier version, contains many others resulting 
from careless transcription. 7 For this reason the Evora manuscript 
is used as the basis of the following translation; fortunately, 
however, none of the errors, whether misspellings or mis¬ 
interpretations, is sufficiently serious to obliterate the sense of 
the original. 

As far as I am aware, there have been only two complete 
editions of the Esmeraldo up to the present time, and both of 
these are in Portuguese. The first appeared in 1892 to com- 

1 Cod. x vol. fol., 100 leaves. 

* Cod. B, 17, 1 vol., 80 leaves. 

J Vide Epiphanio da Silva Dias, Esmeraldo ...edifSo cntica, i 9 ° 5 » P- 5 * 

4 Esmeraldo.. .edi^o commemorativa, 1892, p. iL 

5 Ibid. 6 Ibid. 1 Vide Frontispiece. 



memorate the four-hundredth anniversary of Columbus’s dis¬ 
covery of America. It was edited by Basto and contains a fairly 
lengthy introduction. Besides printing the manuscript, though 
with scant regard for accuracy, Basto collated a large number 
of documents bearing upon the life and work of Pacheco; some 
of these are here reproduced in facsimile. The second edition 
is the work of Epiphanio da Silva Dias and was published in 
1905. Much less lavish in design than its predecessor, it is a 
much more scholarly work; of particular critical value are the 
footnotes, which, among other things, call attention to the verbal 
discrepancies between the Evora and Lisbon manuscripts. The 
text is universally adjudged to be reliable and, whenever in 
doubt, it has been resorted to for the purpose of the present 



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T he beginning of the Esmeraldo De Situ Orbis, 
made and composed by duarte pacheco, Knight 
of the Household of the late King John II of 
Portugal , addressed to the most high and mighty Prince and 
most Serene Lord King Manuel , our sovereign , first of this 
name to reign in Portugal. 

Most high and mighty prince and serene lord, we 
could not escape censure were we to allow to fall into oblivion 
without record the worthy fame of our forefathers and [other] 
excellent men who deserve to be held in perpetual remembrance; 
for the knowledge of their great deeds increases the glory of your 
name, even as in noble works your Highness excels them. And 
inasmuch as the ancient writers, from whose works we have 
received instruction, treated of the discovery of the sphericity 
of the earth and of the sea, concerning which they held various 
opinions, and inasmuch as the present time is appropriate for 
dealing with this subject, your Highness must know that Marcus 
Strabo of Cappadocia, a very ancient writer and of great authority, 
says, almost in the middle of the first book of his Cosmography 1 : 
“it will suffice if, eliminating further discussion, we write only 
of the men who relate their navigation to Ethiopia.” Some say 
that Menelaus*, making his way round by Calez 3 , took his course 
as far as the region of India; and the time agrees with the length 

* Geography , book :, chap. 2, para. 31. 

1 According to the Homeric tradition (Odyssey, book tv, passim ), when 
Menelaus was driven out to sea in attempting to double Cape Malea, a part 
of his fleet was carried to Crete and the rest, with Menelaus himself, was 
driven to Egypt. While there, Menelaus visited the countries that surround 
the eastern head of the Mediterranean: he tells Tclemachus that he wandered 
to Cyprus, Phoenicia, Ethiopia, the land of the Erembi and Libya. Exactly 
what significance can be attached to the mention of Ethiopia it is impossible 
to say, but seeing that nothing is said about the Sahara, the Nile or the 
West African coast, there is no reason to suppose that Menelaus anticipated 
n any way the explorations of later times. 

* I.e. Cadiz. 





of the journey which is given in Homer 1 * * : “I came back with 
ships in the eighth year." Others say that he made his way 
through the isthmus, that is, between the two shores of the 
Arabian Gulf; and Caius Pliny, a Roman senator and an excellent 
writer, in the second book of his Natural History , chapter 69*, 
states that Hanno the Carthaginian sailed from Calez to the 
Arabian Gulf. Further, these authors say 3 that Eudoxus, fleeing 
from King Latirus of Alexandria, sailed from the Arabian Gulf 
to Calez; and Pomponius Mela 4 , a very ancient writer born near 
Gibraltar, also affirms this, and states moreover near the end of 
the third book of his De Situ Orbis that this Eudoxus was the 
first to bring fire and its use to the barbarous peoples of Ethiopia, 
to whom it was till then unknown; and some of the other cosmo- 
graphers agree as to this. However this navigation and its use 
was lost to all the men of old time in such wise that during 
1500 years or more it was altogether forgotten and dead. A new 
beginning was made by the most excellent prince, a prudent and 
virtuous man, the Prince Henry, Duke of Viseu and Lord of 
Covilhan, your late uncle, who, illuminated by the grace of the 
Holy Spirit and moved by a divine mystery, at great cost to his 
estate and to the lives of the Portuguese in his household, 
ordered the island of Madeira to be discovered and peopled. In 
addition he discovered land in Guinea (formerly known as 
Ethiopia) from Capes Nam and Bojador to Serra Lyoa, distant 
from these realms 650 leagues and lying 8° north of the Equator; 
owing to him it comes about that a great part of the Ethiopians, 
who were almost beasts in human form, cut off from divine 
worship, are learning the holy catholic faith and are daily being 
converted to the Christian religion. In order that this enterprise 
might be carried out with greater security and blessing it was 
first entrusted to him by the Holy Fathers of Rome, Popes 
Eugene IV, Martin V and Sixtus IV, and by others who suc¬ 
ceeded them, who decreed that the said Prince and all the lawful 

1 Odyssey, book iv, II. 81-2. Judging from the Homeric text it would 
appear that Pacheco is quoting Strabo on Homer, not Homer himself. 

* Actually chap. 67. 

* Natural History, book 11, chap. 169; Geography, book n, chap. 3, paras. 

4 and 5. 

* De Situ Orbis, book Ill, chap. 10. 


Kings of Portugal who came after him should for ever possess 
from the Capes Nam and Bojador all the islands, harbours, 
commerce, traffic, fisheries and conquests of the whole of Guinea 
discovered or to be discovered on the eastern and southern 
coast, including India; with innumerable excommunications, 
prohibitions and interdictions forbidding any other princes, 
lordships or communities to have any part in the said regions, 
as is set forth at greater length in the bulls 1 and letters granted 
to the said Prince and to the Kings of Portugal, which are kept 
in the Torre do Tombo in this city of Lisbon. On the death of 
this holy Prince, his nephew King Afonso V continued this 
conquest and discovery. In the year of Our Lord Jesus Christ 
1460 on the 13th day of November the virtuous Prince Henry 
died, and after his death the excellent King Afonso V ordered 
the discovery to be continued from Serra Lyoa (where he left 
off) a all along the coast of Malagueta and Mina from the R. dos 
Escravos to Cabo de Caterina, a distance of some 650 leagues 
beyond Serra Lyoa. 

After the discovery of all these regions and provinces and the 
death of King Afonso, the most serene Prince King John II, his 
son, continued this enterprise; he is worthy of eternal re¬ 
membrance, for, in his great desire to increase the commerce 
and wealth of these realms, he ordered* the discovery of the 
islands of S. Thom6 and S. Antonio and peopled them as a base 
for the navigation to India, which we must hold he would have 
discovered had Our Lord granted him longer life. Further he 
founded the city of S. Jorze da Mina, which is now so valuable 
to your Highness and to your realms. To avoid prolixity I omit 
the details of many discoveries which this glorious prince 
ordered* me 4 and others of his captains to make at many places 
and rivers along the coast of Guinea, the interior of which was 
unknown in the days of Prince Henry and King Afonso. He 
thus discovered [the coastline] from Cabo de Caterina, where 

1 Zurara reproduces one of the earliest and most important of these bulls 
(dated 5 January 1443) in his Chronicle of Guinea (Hakluyt Society), chap. 15. 

1 This is the usual belief, based on the Cadamosto narrative, but Dr Jaime 
Cortesio is of the opinion that Cape Palmas was reached. Vide Historic de 
Portugal (edited by D. Peres), vol. in, p. 382. 

J Portuguese mandou. * Vide Introduction, p. xiii. 




his father left off, to Cabo de Boa Esperan£a, which is in the 
latitude of 34^° south, and from there on to Penedo das Fontes, 
which we also know as Ilheo da Cruz, 160 leagues beyond that 
cape. Thus this excellent prince discovered in all 760 leagues of 
coast, including the kingdom of Maniconguo 1 and many other 
peoples; and the navigation to these lands is stormy and difficult. 
From this [discovery] arose the hope and will to discover India, 
which has now been made known to your Majesty. 

All these things are true, most serene Prince, and many of 
them happened in our day. But what shall I say of your 
Highness and of the divine grace which the supreme Creator 
shed upon your spirit, endowing you with greater understanding, 
knowledge and fortitude than all your predecessors, ancient and 
modern? 3 ... For in the second year of your reign 1497 a.d. and 
the 28 th year of your age your Highness ordered the discovery 
to be continued from Ilheo da Cruz 3 , where King John left off, 
and without counting the great and heavy expense, a portion of 
Ethiopia under Egypt 4 was discovered, which from the earliest 
times to our day was utterly unknown. Your captains discovered 
anew the great mine which some hold to be that of Ophir 3 and 
is now called £ofala, whence the most wise King Solomon 

‘ Vide infra, book m, chap. 2. 

1 There it a small lacuna in the text at this point. 

* This was the most easterly point reached by Dias—25 leagues west of 
the Rio do Infante. ' 4 Cf. book I, chap. 27. 

5 The theory that Ophir was a locality on or near the East African coast 
in the neighbourhood of Sofala is now almost without supporters. "The 
whole argument," says Schoff ( Periplus of the Erytkreean Sea, p. 97), "was 
pure assumption, as there is no reference in ancient literature to any know* 
ledge of the African coast within 600 miles of the point of Sofala." Some 
have thought to establish the identity of Ophir and Zimbabwe in Mashona* 
land, but careful investigation of the site by Dr Randall Maclver and other 
archaeologists has resulted in depriving the ruined city of any claim to great 
antiquity. It is now widely held that Ophir was located on or near the Oman 
Coast of Arabia (vide “ The Expanse of the Earth as known in Old Testament 
Times,” by the present writer in the Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria 
Institute, vol. lxvii, p. 210). English writers in Pacheco’s day placed Ophir 
near the Moluccas (vide Robert Thome’s map of 1527). The “great mine" 
Pacheco speaks of was not at Sofala. This town was simply the Arab and 
negro emporium for the barter of gold that came from mines in the interior 
(cf. St Jorze da Mina). Enciso, vide Barlow, Brief Summe of Geographie 
(Hakluyt Society), is nearer the truth when he speaks of " the people of the 
country brought thider ( i.e . to Sofala) moche golde. . p. 109. Cf. The Booh 
of Duarte Barbosa, edited by M. L. Dames, vol. 1, chap. 4 (Hakluyt Society). 



according to 1 ... the ninth chapter of the third book of Kings 1 
and the eighth chapter of the second book of Paralipomenon^, 
drew 420 talents of gold with which he built the holy temple at 
Jerusalem. And further at your command a great portion of the 
sea was discovered until the province of Maabaar*, known as 
Lower India, w T as revealed. Here many great cities and notable 
towns were discovered, among them the ruined city of Malipor*, 
where we believe is the holy sepulchre of the blessed apostle 
St Thomas and where Our Lord has performed many miracles. 

Among all the western princes of Europe God chose out your 
Highness to receive this blessing and possess the tributes of the 
barbarian kings and princes of the East. Rome in the time of 
her prosperity, when she ruled a great part of the world, could 
never thus make them tributary; on the contrary, fighting for 
their independence, they slew Marcus Crassus, a very brave 
captain, killing 20,000 of his army and taking 10,000 prisoners 6 ; 
and now by divine sanction and special grace your Highness 
rules over ail, the path of your knights extending through the 

’ A small lacuna at this point. 

1 In the Septuagint and Vulgate versions of the Bible, the title of First 
and Second Book of Kings was given to the Books of Samuel, and the Books 
of the Kings (so called in the Hebrew version) were known as the Third Book 
of Kings (the two books forming a unit). The passage referred to is I Kings 
ix. 28. 

J The Septuagint name for the Books of the Chronicles, the word denoting 
that they are supplementary to the preceding historical books. The passage 
referred to is II Chronicles viii. 18. 

4 I.e. Malabar. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the name was 
commonly applied to both the East and West coasts of Southern India, vide 
T. Bowrcy, The Countries round the Bay of Bengal, 1669-1679, p. 6 (Hakluyt 

5 Early ecclesiastical legends going back to the third century a.d. affirm 
that the Apostle St Thomas preached Christianity in the domains of one 
Gondophemes, who ruled over an extensive realm in the Kandahar country, 
where the Apostle was martyred. Another group of traditions alleges that the 
same apostle was martyred at MailSpur near Madras. Some writers have tried 
to reconcile the two stories in some measure by guessing that St Thomas may 
have first visited Kandahar and then gone to the Peninsula. The evidence 
does not permit us to come to any certain conclusion. Cf. The Book of Duarte 
Barbosa, vol. II, chap. 99 (Hakluyt Society). 

6 The reference is to the disastrous Roman campaign against the Parthians 
in the spring of 53 B.c. Aa a result of the battle of Carrhae on the River 
Belik in Upper Mesopotamia, only 10,000 of Crassus’s 44,000 men ever 
returned to Syria. The 10,000 prisoners were settled at Merv to keep the 
Parthian frontier. It was one of the worst defeats sustained by the Roman arms. 



lands and seas of India and the coasts of Asia as far as the 
conquests of Alexander. The valiant advance of the Portuguese 
arms and fleet, which by your command and power perform such 
mighty deeds, so augments your glorious fame that it sounds 
through the whole of Europe and Africa, Arabia, Persia, through 
the lands of the Elamites, Babylonians, Chaldeans, Medes, 
Assyrians, Parthians, Phoenicians and the peoples of Palestine; 
it even penetrates to the very distant and ferocious peoples of 
Cithas 1 and the most wealthy kingdoms of India. We may 
therefore rightly assert that the glory of your victories and praise 
of your name and your mighty navigation and conquests exceed 
those of Menelaus and Hanno of Carthage and Eudoxus, greatly 
praised and glorified by ancient writers, as of all the kings and 
princes who preceded you. For in a short space of time your 
Highness discovered nearly 1500 leagues beyond the discoveries 
of all the ancients and moderns, unknown and unnavigated by 
any nations of our West. And now, for the greater safety of this 
navigation, it is well that your Highness should order the dis¬ 
covery and exploration of the coast from Ilheo da Cruz, since 
at its first discovery it was made known in general and not in 
detail; and because your Highness informed me that you wished 
to entrust this to me, I have undertaken a book of cosmography 
and navigation, of which this is the preface. The book will be 
divided into five books; the first will treat of the discoveries of 
the virtuous Prince Henry, the second of those of the excellent 
King Afonso, the third of those of the most serene King John as 
far as Ilheo da Cruz, as I have said; the fourth and fifth will deal 
with the glorious achievements of your Highness, which in 
extent and quality exceed those of all the other princes. The 
former of these books will begin at Ilheo da Cruz and end at 
Cabo de Guardafune* at the entrance of the Arabian Gulf 3 ,... 
and so on to the Persian Gulf and the whole of India. This is 
the order and subject matter of the five books, and they will not 
only be necessary for the prosecution of this navigation and 

1 I.e. Scythia. 

* I.e. Cape Guardafui. 

* I.e. Red Sea. There is a lacuna at this point. Judging by the context it 
must have contained originally some such words as “and the second book 
will begin at the entrance of the Arabian Gulf.” 



commerce, but will ensure to our heirs and successors an eternal 
memory and remembrance by which they may know your 
excellent deeds, so worthy of glorious immortality. Yet what 
eloquence can be so matchless as perfectly to set forth the 
measure of the great achievements of our Emperor Manuel? 
For surely Marcus Tullius, the most excellent orator of the 
Romans, and Homer and Demosthenes, the principal orators 
among the Greeks, would fear to set their hands to the descrip¬ 
tion of achievements of such importance; but I leave all that to 
the historian of your reign. Here I hope to deal at length with 
that which appertains to cosmography and navigation; and 
therefore I will first briefly mention some of the greater circles 1 * 3 , 
and the size of the earth and of the sea and which of these is the 
greater, and I will rapidly describe the greatness of Africa and 
of Asia, where your victorious arms flourish in the east and in 
the west. I will limit myself to these two* [continents], the 
interior I will only briefly describe, but the coast and all that 
concerns navigation and cosmography I will deal with at greater 
length; thus all the routes will be stated, namely the position of 
places and promontories in relation to one another, in order that 
this work may have an ordered basis and that the coast may be 
navigated in greater safety: similarly the landmarks and shallows, 
for these are essential; and the soundings, both their depths and 
the kind of bottom, whether it be mud or sand or rock or gravel 
or snags or shingle, and the distance of the soundings from land: 
similarly the tides, whether they flow NE and SW as in our 
Spain?, or N and S or E and W or NW and SE, which it is 
essential to know in order to be able to enter and leave the bars 

1 According to medneval and renaissance theory the sphere was divisible 
into a number of circles. Martin Cortes, for instance, in his Art of Navigation 
(translated by R. Eden), chap. 9, says: “The sphere is compounded of ten 
circles imagined. And (as saith John dc Sacrobosco in his boke of the Sphere) 
sixe of them are greater and foure lesse. The greater circle is that which 
devideth the sphere into two cquall partes and hath his centre with the 
centre of it. These are the Equinoctiall [i.e. the Equator], the Zodiac, the two 
Coluri, the Horizon and the Meridian. The lesser circle is that that devideth 
the sphere into two uncquall partes. These are the two Tropykes and two 
Polar circles.” Cf. R. Barlow, Brief Summe of Geographie (Hakluyt Society), 

P- 3 ; 

* Lacuna. The sense seems to require only the one word we have inserted. 

3 Vide Introduction, pp. xxvi et seq. 



and mouths of rivers: further, the altitudes of the poles, by 
which one may know the latitude of a place and its distance from 
the Equator. I will also describe the inhabitants of this land of 
Ethiopia and their way of life and commerce; and I will set all 
this 1 forth diligently for the service of your Highness as best 
I know and can in this book, which will be called Esmercddo De 
Situ Orbis 2 . And when this and other things that your Highness 
commands are performed, we will be able to say of you what 
Virgil said 3 of Caesar Augustus: “You rule over the mighty sea 
and everybody honours your greatness and Ultima Thylle [i.e. 
the ends of the earth] will serve you.” 

1 The text is slightly corrupt at this point, but not sufficient to make the 
meaning obscure. 

* Vide Introduction, p. xvii. 

s Georgies, book x, li. 29-30: 

“An deus immensi venias maris, ac tua nautae 
numina sola colant, tibi serviat ultima Thule.” 

Pacheco translates it rather freely. 



T he beginning of the first book , with a par¬ 
ticular description of some of the greater circles and 
of the property of the earth. 

Chapter i 

We know that the philosophers and wise men of 
old gave the name of world and sky and other names to that 
which embraces all things in its ambit 1 , and they called it East 
or Orient where the sun rises 1 and West [or] 1 Occident where 
it sets and the intervening space South and North. What is here 
briefly set forth concerns only the greater circles. On this subject, 
they affirmed, moreover, that the earth is set in the centre^ and 
is surrounded on every side by the sea; and that the earth is 
divided into two parts or hemispheres from east to west and on 
the east into five zones 4 ; the middle zone, which is called the 
equinoctial zone or the zone of primary movement, is distressed 
by the great heat of the sun, but is nevertheless well peopled; it 
is believed that the colour of the Ethiopians is so black because 

1 Literal translation of passages in P. Mela, De Situ Orbis, book i, chap. 3. 

* Text slightly corrupt. 

5 Cf. De Situ Orbis, book 1, chap. 4. 

* The division of the earth’s surface into zones, corresponding to the zones 
into which astronomers divided the heavens, goes back to classical times. 
The number of such zones was unanimously set at five, commonly designated 
as Septentrionalis, Solstitialis, Equinoctialis, Brumalis (or Hyemalis) and 
Australis, but there was considerable difference of opinion concerning their 
habitability. The prevailing view down to the middle of the mediaeval period 
was that the two polar zones and the equatorial zone were uninhabitable, the 
former by reason of cold, and the latter by reason of heat. Later opinion was 
inclined to reject the inhabitability of the equatorial zone, because of growing 
evidence that there were people living near the equator. Pacheco of course 
had to reject the traditional belief about the Torrid Zone, but he still held to 
the view, common in the Middle Ages, that an Antipodean race inhabited the 
southern temperate zone; although part of this southern zone was discovered 
in his own day, he nowhere suggests that South Africa is the home of the 
Antipodes. The reason for this may be that, in the popular imagination, the 
home of these people was in an “ austral continent.” On the general question 
of the Antipodes and “Terra Australis” vide A. Rainaud, Le Continent 



they dwell near this zone, while it is said that the climate of the 
two zones nearest the poles produces peoples of extreme white¬ 
ness and beauty, even more than the other two or temperate 
zones, where the seasons of the year are more equable. Of these 
two zones it is said that the Antipodes inhabit one part and we 
the other; they dwell on the opposite side of the earth, where the 
sun rises when it sets for us, and their feet are over against our 
feet, for which reason they are called Antipodes. The property 
of the globe is such that if one could pierce the earth and throw 
a stone in from its surface, thinking that it would come out on 
the other side, it would not go beyond the centre, but would 
remain there, for that is the lowest part (every other part being 
higher) and it is impossible and contrary to nature for any heavy 
thing to mount or move from the centre to the circumference. 
Thus the Antipodes inhabit the one part and we the other, and 
in the part in which we dwell no one is content with all the 
blessings that he possesses, and in the end eight feet of earth 
suffice us and there the vanity of all our cares is consumed away. 

Chapter ii 

Concerning the size and greatness of the earth and 
sea and which of them is the larger. 

To describe the situation of the globe and the greatness of the 
whole earth and of the sea, the islands, cities, fortresses, animals 
and all the other things contained in it is a long and difficult 
matter admitting no elegance of style, for its order is confused; 
and owing to the earth’s size it cannot be known in detail, but 
our admiration for so excellent a thing is such that it is full 
worthy to be described and discussed 1 . Therefore we must 
consider how the philosophers who treated of this matter said 
that the earth is completely surrounded by the sea, bringing 
themselves to believe that the whole of our world, the seat of 
life and the glory of our empires is made into an island by the 

* This sentence is very reminiscent of Mela’s preamble to the De Situ 
Or bis. 



surrounding waters, and their conviction of this was carefully 
reasoned; but some of the modern doctors have held different, 
even contrary opinions. For they sought to prove by the 
authority of Holy Scripture and able arguments opposed to 
those of the ancients that the earth is larger than the sum of all 
the waters, which are placed in the depths and concavity of the 
earth and are surrounded by the earth; as to which we must 
note the words of Jacob, Bishop of Valencia 1 , an excellent scholar 
and master of sacred theology, who in his commentary on the 
Psalter and with reference to the Psalm 104 (which begins 
“Bless the Lord, O my soul” and has a verse “Who laid the 
foundations of the earth ”) a says that the waters are all set within 
the concavity of the earth and that the earth is far larger than 
all the waters. And Pliny in the second book of his Natural 
History , chapter 67 3 , says that all the waters are placed in the 
centre of the earth, and this is a conclusion which is not to be 
denied. That the truth may be further declared we may note 
the words of the first chapter of Genesis: “ Let the waters under 
the heaven be gathered together unto one place 4 ,” the words 
“unto'one place” showing that the earth is not surrounded by 
the sea, for if it were so these words would not have been used 
or required; rather it would have said “Let the waters be 
removed from the earth,” in which case there could be no doubt 
that the earth is surrounded by the waters and only a small part 
of it uncovered for animals to dwell on; but since it says 3 “ Let 
the waters be gathered together unto one place” it was made 
clear that the waters remained in the concavity of the earth, since 
it is the nature of water to flow downwards, and following their 
nature the waters obeyed the behest of the Creator; so that we 
may say thatS this w r a$ according to nature, since the lowest part 
of the earth is its centre and on this the waters are founded. 
Consequently the prophet David in the thirty-third Psalm, 

‘ I.e. Jacob (or Jaime) Perez, a native of Ayora in Valencia. He was 
Bishop of Nicopolis in Asia Minor and flourished in the latter half of the 
fifteenth century. His commentary is entitled Expositions in psalmos Davidi- 
cos, and went through several editions before rsoo. The passage referred to 
is found on p. 224 (1518 edition). 

* Verse 5. 3 Chap. 65. 

4 Verse 9. Text slightly comipt. 



beginning “Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous” said “He 
gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth 
up the depth in storehouses 1 ,” and since the depth of the earth 
is its centre the storehouse of the waters has this place for its 
foundation. It follows, therefore, that the earth contains water 
and that the sea does not surround the earth, as Homer and 
other authors affirmed, but rather that the earth in its greatness 
surrounds and contains all the waters in its concavity and centre; 
moreover, experience, which is the mother of knowledge, re¬ 
moves all doubt and misapprehension. Therefore, most fortunate 
Prince, we have known and seen how in the third year of your 
reign in the year of Our Lord 1498, in which your Highness 
ordered us to discover the Western region, a very large landmass 
with many large islands adjacent, extending 70° North of the 
Equator, and located beyond the greatness of the Ocean, has 
been discovered and navigated; this distant land is densely 
populated and extends 28^° on the other side of the Equator 
towards the Antarctic Pole. Such is its greatness and length that 
on either side its end has not been seen or known, so that it is 
certain that it goes round the whole globe 3 . Thus if from the 
shores and coast of Portugal or from the Promontory of Finis- 
Terra or from any other point of Europe, Africa or Asia [sic] 
we sail across the Ocean due West and East, through 36 degrees 
of longitude (though some points are slightly more distant) 
which at eighteen leagues to the degree* are 648 leagues, we find 
this land 4 , along which the ships and subjects of your Highness 
now coast at your command and permission. Following this 
coast 28 degrees from the Equator towards the South Pole there 

* Verse 7. 

1 Vide Introduction, pp. xxi et seq. 

3 This is an unusual reckoning, for in the normal Portuguese Regimentos 
distances were based on a degree of 17$ leagues. As Portuguese sailors 
reckoned 4 miles (Roman miles, 70 of which are equivalent to 64-4 English 
statute miles), 648 leagues are equal to 2592 Roman miles (or 2384-6 English 
miles). Now the only land a mariner is likely to find this distance west of 
Portugal is the Bermudas, some 500 miles from the American mainland. In 
point of longitude the north-east salient of Brazil satisfies Pacheco's figure 
fairly well; but this is by no means due west from ** the shores and coast of 
Portugal." However, judging from the context, it was this region that 
Pacheco had in mind. 

4 Corruption in the text. 



is found much excellent Brazil 1 * , with which (and with many 
other things) the ships of these realms return heavily laden. 
Many years before this land was known or discovered Vincent 
in the first book of his “ Mirror of Histories,” chapter 177 s , said 
that “besides the three parts of the earth there is a fourth part 
beyond the Ocean to the South, where the Antipodes are said 
to dwell.” Since this land beyond the Ocean is so large and on 
this side we have Europe, Africa and Asia, it is clear that the 
Ocean is placed between these two lands, with land on either 
side of it, and we can therefore affirm that the Ocean does not 
surround the earth as the philosophers declared, but rather that 
the earth must surround the sea, since it lies in the concavity 
of the earth and in its centre. Therefore I conclude that the 
Ocean is only a very large lake set in the concavity of the earth 
and that the earth and sea together form a sphere. From the 
Ocean many arms branch out and enter the earth and are known 
as mediterranean, and this we believe to be the truth. We have 
still to declare how much larger the earth is than the water, for 
the water only occupies a seventh part of the earth, as is shown 
in the fourth book of the prophet Esdras and the sixth chapter 3 4 : 
“On the third day Thou didst command the waters to be 
gathered together into a seventh part of the earth but six parts 
Thou didst dry up.” Thus the water covers a seventh part of 
the earth and six parts of the earth are uncovered for the fife of 
man and of the other animals; and this is a reasonable belief*. 

1 The word “brazil” is usually supposed to signify either some special 
kind of red dye wood or dye wood in general: however, in the commercial 
literature of the time there is little to identify it as wood at all. “ Most likely 
many kinds of red wood suitable for dyeing and perhaps other vegetable 
products available for that purpose were included under the name * brazil ’ ” 
(W. H. Babcock, Legendary hies of the Atlantic, pp. 54-5). 

* Vincent of Beauvais's Speculum Historiale, chap. 77. The statement 
quoted by Pacheco is found also in Isidore ( Etymologies , book xiv, cha p. 5, 
para. 17), and in many other mediaeval writers. It runs as followsExtra 
tres autem partes orbis quarta cst trans oceanum intcriorem in meridie qui 
solis ardore incognita nobis est. In quibus finibus Antipodes fabulose in- 
habitae produntur inhabitare.” 

J Verse 42. 

4 In mediaeval times there were two main theories concerning the distri¬ 
bution of land and water. They were (a) the oceanic theory, that the “ oikou- 
mene ” is surrounded by water, and (b) the continental theory, that the oceans 
of the earth occupy relatively small and enclosed basins. Orthodoxy de- 


Chapter iii 

How Shem , Ham and Japheth , the sons of Noah , each in¬ 
habited his part of the earth after the Flood and how these 
parts were called Europe , Asia and Africa , and concerning 
the places that divide them 1 . 

I am advised to tell how, after the universal flood and total 
destruction, from which by divine privilege holy Noah and his 
sons escaped, when the earth was uncovered and the waters had 
returned to their place, they and their descendants possessed 
the whole earth. Thus it is said that Shem, his eldest son, 
inhabited the Eastern region, Ham the South and Japheth 
the North. As there were three sons of this holy father, the 
ancient writers divided the earth that they knew into three parts, 
and long after the restoration of the peoples who were lost in the 
flood, when the earth was again fully peopled by man, Pom- 
ponius Mela and other ancient cosmographers as well as others 
who held this to be true during long ages, divided the earth into 
three principal parts. Of the fourth part, discovered at the 

manded the acceptance of the former view (for it was supported, so its 
protagonists argued, by Holy Scripture, e.g. Ps. cxxxvi. 6), but there were 
various and even conflicting notions in regard to the size of the ocean or 
oceans which surrounded the known world. Abelard, for instance, held that 
all the earth’s surface except the “oikoumene” was covered by water. 
Martian us Capella and Macrobius, who had a great following in the Middle 
Ages, held that there were three areas of land corresponding to our "oikou¬ 
mene ” in the other quarters of the globe and that, consequently, the ocean 
could not occupy a very large percentage of the total surface area. This view, 
of course, was in line with that of the Book of Esdras, which, although 
apocryphal, enjoyed much popularity in the Middle Ages (vide R. Bacon, 
Opus Majus, Bridge’s edition, vol. I, p. 291). Pacheco, while conceding, with 
Bacon, that the water surface of the earth was small in comparison with the 
land surface, discards the oceanic theory (which Bacon held) in favour of the 
continental view that "the earth must surround the sea.” 

1 The writers of antiquity and the Middle Ages were practically unanimous 
in their division of the “oikoumene” into three parts. Orosius, however, 
spoke of certain writers who divided the earth into two parts, making Africa 
a part of Europe, “because of its small size”, and making Asia as large as 
Africa and Europe together (vide Ilistoria adversos paganos, book 1, chap. 2, 
para. 1). It was upon this latter belief that the characteristic symmetrical 
division of the earth in the " T in O ” maps was based. 



bidding of your Highness, being unknown to them, they said 
nothing. These three parts have from the beginning been called 
Asia, Europe and Africa. The name Asia is said to have been 
that of a queen who reigned in this region; the name Africa is 
said to be derived from Afeer, the son of Abraham, who brought 
a great army and subdued the inhabitants, and those who after¬ 
wards possessed it were called Afcros and now are called 
Africans. For this reason it is believed that all this region is 
known as Africa 1 * . Europe took its name from that of a queen, 
the daughter of Agenor of Lybia; and from these or other causes 
these regions are universally known by these names. These 
regions are divided into three parts by the straits between the 
western Gaditanian* coast and Cepta 3 and by two famous rivers, 
viz. the Tanais 4 and Nile 5 ; the division begins at the Riphaean 
mountains 6 , which are near the Arctic pole, where the Tanais 
rises, and running south through the country of the Scythians, 
flows impetuously into the sea of Tanais, formerly known as 
Palude Meotis 7 . By this river and the Mediterranean from 
Cepta to the Thracian straits, which were called the Hellespont, 
where the city of Constantinople is situated, and ending in the 
Lake Meotis, Europe is clearly divided from Asia. 

1 This is the usual derivation. Afer (or Epher as he is called in Genesis 

xxv. 4), however, was a grandson, and not a son of Abraham. 

* I.e. belonging to, or in the neighbourhood of, Cadiz. 

* I.e. Ceuta. 4 I.e. River Don. 

5 Cf. Mela, De Situ Orbit, book 1, chap. 8, and Pliny, Natural History, 
book m, chap. 3. Throughout classical and mediseval times the Nile rather 
than the Red Sea was regarded as the frontier between Africa and Asia. The 
dividing line between Europe and Asia was not universally held to be the 
Tanais: some, e.g. Herodotus (History, book iv, chap. 45), preferred to give 
this distinction to the Phasis, i.e. Rion River, which enters the Black Sea near 
the town of Poti. 

6 The myth of the Riphaean Mountains goes back to antiquity. It was 
popularised by Aristotle, who believed that these mountains gave rise to many 
of the large European and Asiatic rivers (Meteorologica, chap. zo). As no 
first-hand evidence was forthcoming until a relatively late date, the myth 
enjoyed a very long vogue. Some have sought to identify them with the 
Urals. The Don however rises on slightly elevated ground south of Moscow. 
The Riphsan mountains figure frequently on mediaeval maps: e.g. the 
Hereford world-map (Riphay montes) and Psalter map (British Museum 
Add. MS. 28,681). 

7 The Sea of Tanais is of course the Sea of Azov, which was formerly 
known as Paludemeon. 

Chapter iv 

Concerning the birth and course of the river Nile 1 . 

The river Nile rises in the Mountains of the Moon beyond the 
equator towards the Antarctic Pole. These mountains, according 
to the description of Ptolemy*, and the place of the Nile’s rising, 
35 0 south of the equator, must be the rocky mountains of Cabo 
de Boa Esperan^a. And flowing from its springs it forthwith 
forms two great lakes and thence flows through the land of the 
Ethiopians over against the Tanais^; at 15 0 [north] it forms two 
branches which afterwards reunite. The land between these 
branches forms an island called Meroe; it is very large and well 
populated and is far better and richer than the other islands 
which the Nile forms with the overflow of its waters, as Pliny 
declares in the fifth book and ninth chapter 4 of his Natural 
History. Pliny says* further that the Nile flows for twenty days’ 
journey underground and then reappears as a new river, and that 
the inhabitants of that region believe that the Nile rises there. 
Flowing thus it waters all the adjacent lands of Egypt and gives 
sustenance to the whole of that province, for in the months of 
June, July, August and September, when it is summer in Egypt 
and there is never any rain, the Nile overflows its banks and 
covers the fields of Egypt; after the waters have receded the 
earth is sown and cultivated and produces its fruits. When the 
Nile rises twelve covados 6 it means famine; a rise of thirteen 
means a fair subsistence, fifteen gladness, and sixteen great 
fertility, according to Pliny? in the chapter mentioned. It is 
certainly very remarkable that the Nile should overflow in the 

* Vide Introduction, pp. xx, xxi, and Plate (opposite). 

* Vide Geographia, book tv, chap. 9, paras. 23 and 24. But Ptolemy places 
the source 12J 0 S. 

* Cf. Mela, op. cit. book 1, chap. 8 and book in, chap. 85. 

4 Actually book v, chap. 10. 5 Ibid. 

4 A Portuguese measure containing three-quarters of a yard or a Flemish ell. 

7 Pliny's description runs as follows: (the) “most desirable height (of 
increase) is 16 cubits; if the waters do not attain that height, the overflow is 
not universal: but if they exceed that measure, by their slowness in receding 
they tend to retard the process of cultivation.... When the water rises to only 


Serl« 1L Vol. LXXlX 


B Y Kf, 










greatest heat of summer; the cosmographers who diligently 
sought out the reasons of this gave many causes, but that which 
best satisfies me is that, in the promontory where the Nile rises, 
the seasons are opposed and contrary to those of Egypt, since 
the centre of Egypt is 30° north of the Equator and according to 
the description of Ptolemy the region in which the Nile rises is 
35 0 south of the Equator; in which region in the months men¬ 
tioned we know that it is the depth of winter; and the rains 
which fall in this region in a few days reach Egypt owing to the 
rapid flow of the river, although it is then summer in Egypt, and 
it seems that this is the reason for the overflow of the Nile. 

Chapter v 

Concerning the four mouths of the Nile 
and where it enters the sea. 

Concerning the floods of the river Nile of which we spoke in 
the preceding chapter we have learnt that a large arm flows 
through Lower Ethiopia towards the west, which the Ethiopians, 
according to its course from distant lands, say is the Rio de 
Managua 1 ; for of all the rivers of this land of Ethiopia which wc 
have studied daily during many years we know certainly that 
this is the largest, as we shall set forth at greater length in the 
chapter dealing with the Rio de Managua 3 . The other arm, 
flowing north, we know enters the sea of Egypt* near the archi- 

12 cubits, it experiences the horrors of famine: when it attains 13, hunger is 
still the result: a rise of 14 cubits is productive of gladness: a rise of 15 sets 
all anxieties at rest: while an increase of 16 is productive of unbounded trans¬ 
ports of joy... ” (book v, chap. 10). 

1 I.e. the Senegal River: cf. Leo Africanus, History and Description of 
Africa (Hakluyt Society), vol. I, pp. 124-5. 

1 Vide note on book I, chap. 27. 

J It was not until the time of Solinus (Collectanea Rerum Memorabilium, 
chap. 24, para. 14) that the word “Mediterranean” came to be employed for 
the inland sea of that name, and then only as a convenient designation and not 
as a strictly geographical name. Pliny and Ptolemy both called it "Mare 
Internum,” Mela “ Mare Nostrum.” In order to give its various parts exact 
definition, it was customary to apply the name of the adjacent country to 
them; hence “sea of Egypt.” The archipelago referred to is of course the 





pclago by four mouths; the chief and largest of these was from 
very ancient times called Canopus after the pilot of Menelaus 
of that name who died there; it is now known as Raxete 1 * , and 
by this mouth many large boats and sailing vessels go up to the 
great city of Cairo and proceed thence much farther up the river. 
From this place to its source, the Nile divides Asia from Africa, 
and from die banks of the Nile further on all that part which 
extends thence to the East as far as the sea 3 where the Ethiopians 
dwell under Egypt and beyond there towards India, past the 
entrance and mouth of the river Ganges and the land of Chis 3 , 
passing, further on, the Hyperborean Mountains 4 5 and the great 
province and region of Catay, which was formerly called Cithia, 
until it comes to an end in the sea which on the north washes 
the coast of Norway, once named Dacia*,—all this part is called 
Asia. The other part, which turns from the Nile w estward across 
the land and also runs along the western Gaditanian coast of the 
Mediterranean and comes out by the straits of Cepta, enclosing 
this land of the Ethiopias of Guinea until it ends in the Cape of 
Good Hope,—all this part is counted as Africa. The same 
Mediterranean is that which divides Africa from Europe, and we 
call the north side Europe and the south side Africa. Ancient 

1 Canopus (or Canobus) was the name of the town at the mouth of the 
chief distributary of the Nile. In ascribing the origin of the name to Mene- 
laus's pilot, Pacheco follows the Greek tradition, but it is more probable that 
it owed its appellation to the god Canobus, who was worshipped there with 
peculiar pomp. With the rise of Alexandria, Canopus began to decline: traces 
of its ruins are found about three miles from Aboukir. Rosetta (i.e. Raxete) is 
the modem successor of that town. 

* I.e. Indian Ocean. 

5 I.e. China. 

4 These mountains, which, according to classical geography, marked the 
northernmost limit of the “ oikoumcne,” were situated north of the Riphaean 
Mountains and were the home of a legendary race of that name. “Here,” 
Pliny tells us, "we find light for six months together, given by the sun in one 
continuous day” (Natural History, book iv, chap. 26). 

5 In the last quarter of the fourteenth century Norway was united to the 
crown of Denmark. Bishop Jacob Perez, whom Pacheco cites in book 1, 
chap. 2, speaks of Norway thus: “cujus magna pars est sub domino regis 
dacie.” Cf. ^neas Silvius’s Opera Geographica et Historica, "Danian sive 
Dacium dicere volumus consuctudini servientes Germania: portio est” 
(1551 edition, p. 425). Jutland and the later kingdom of Denmark were 
generally called “Dacia” on maps and in learned works from the time of 
Pliny to the fifteenth century. 



writers divided Africa into five parts 1 ; the first of these was 
called Libya, because the coast land from the Nile to the Cabo 
d’Antrefulcos 3 , where the town of Melilla is situated, is called 
the Libyan Sea, the province deriving its name from this sea. 
The second part was called Mauretania, which extends from 
Melilla, where Libya ends, to the ancient city of Tingy, which 
we now call Tanger. This region is known as Mauretania and 
its inhabitants as Maurs: (owing to the alteration of a letter, 
however, we now universally call them Moors). The third part 
was called Tingitania, the coast as far as the city of £afy? taking 
the name of the ancient city of Tingi. The fourth part is Atlantica, 
and derives its name from the fabled Mount Atlas 4 and the 
rocky coast as far as the beginning of Ethiopia?, and the sea 
along this coast took the name of Atlantic. The fifth part is 
Lower or Great Ethiopia, of which only your Highness possesses 
the trade. Into these five parts the whole of Africa is divided. 
Of Asia and what pertains to it and of how some authors aver 
that it is larger than Europe and Africa together we will speak 
in due course. I conclude then that the Mediterranean and 
these two rivers, the Tanais and the Nile, divide these three 
regions, and all the ancient cosmographers asserted this; but 
of the fourth region beyond the Ocean, which your Highness 

There was not the unanimity among ancient and medixval writers con¬ 
cerning the division of Africa that Pacheco seems to think. Mela certainly 
divided the continent into five provinces—if we include Ethiopia (which he 
dealt with separately)—but his territorial divisions do not coincide in each 
case with those of Pacheco’s list. They were: Cyrene, Lesser Africa (embracing 
part of Pacheco’s Libya), Numidia and Mauretania. Pliny favoured a seven¬ 
fold division (eight with Ethiopia, which was again treated independently), 
as follows: Mauretania, Tingitania, Numidia, Africa, the Syrtes, Cyrenaica 
and Libya. Pierre d’Ailly in his Tractatus de Imagine Mundi —a typical late 
mediseval cosmography—also favoured an eightfold division: Africa (pro¬ 
vince), Cyrenaica, Tripolitans, Bizacium, Carthaginensis, Numidia, Maure¬ 
tania and Ethiopia, but it was not customary to find the last-named province 
listed under Africa. In the minds of most writers Ethiopia did not merely 
denote the region beyond Upper Egypt and south of the Sahara, but the 
entire southern part of the known world, just as India sometimes was applied 
to the entire Far East. Egypt, it will be noticed, finds no place in any of these 
divisions. It was regarded as “ the country which lies next to Africa ” (Pliny, 
op. at. book v, chap. 9), since it was commonly held that the Nile formed 
the boundary between Africa and Asia. 

* I.e. Cap des Trois Fourches. 5 Vide note on book 1, chap. 18. 

4 Vide note on book I, chap. 21. 

5 I.e. Senegal River, vide book 1, chap. 27. 



ordered to be discovered, they said nothing, since it was un¬ 
known to them 1 . For the better understanding of our work we 
have set here a painted map of the world*, with the shape and 
description of these lands, including Europe (although we are 
not writing about it) since it is one of the four parts of the world, 
albeit the ancient writers asserted that there were but three, 
Europe, Asia and Africa, of which we have spoken above. Pliny 
in the first chapter of the third book of his Natural History says 
that Europe, being more excellent than all the other parts of the 
world 3 , produces conquering races and that its position and 
foundation are more stable than the rest. Owing to its excellence 
some writers considered it to be not a third but a half 4 of the 
whole earth; nor may we doubt that in cities, towns, walled 
fortresses and other stately and beautiful buildings Europe 
excels Asia and Africa, as also in her larger and better fleets, 
which are better armed and equipped than those of any other 
region; nor can the inhabitants of Asia and Africa deny that 
Europe possesses great abundance of arms and skill in them and 
much artillery, besides the most excellent scholars of all the 
world in every science, and that in many other respects it excels 
all the rest of the world. Since its excellence is such that it may 
not be briefly described, I have thought it better to be silent than 
to write little on this subject. 

1 This is a verbal repetition of the statement in chap. 3 (vide p. 15). 

* Vide Introduction, p. xxx. 

5 The text is corrupt at this point and it is not easy to say with certainty 
what Pacheco wrote, seeing that this passage, contrary to the tenor of Pacheco’s 
words, finds no complete parallel in Pliny. 

4 Cf. Pliny, op. at. book m, chap. 5. This view originated with Herodotus, 
book iv, chap. 42, but it was strenuously opposed by Polybius and others 
even before the time of Pliny. 


Chapter vi 

Concerning the advantage of knowing how to count 
the world's degrees of longitude and latitude. 

Since we have promised in this work of ours to deal with 
navigation and the things of the sea, it is reasonable that we 
should fulfil our promise; and because the subject of astronomy 
is so well established as to be of great advantage to the matter 
in hand, we have thought it well to set down here the degrees 
by which some places known to us are distant from the Equator 
in the direction of the North or of the South Pole. And since 
it is necessary to explain the manner of counting the globe’s 
degrees of latitude and longitude to the common unlettered 
people and especially to the mariners who sail across the surface 
of the seas of the world (they will derive great benefit if they 
will learn this, seeing that they sail afar to many countries and 
lands), we have set here a table of places, cities, lands and islands 
and their degrees of distance from the Equator towards the 
Poles, and later on we will say how the longitude and latitude 
of the globe must be taken. 

Chapter vii 

Table of the latitudes of the following places 
located north of the equator. 

degrees minutes 






5 ° 










An cron 1 



Fugua do Egipto* 






3 * 


Anburi 3 



Alcansatina 4 









Cezilia 5 






All four names are found in 
Zacuto’s Almanack perpeluum 
( 1525 ) 

‘ Corruption for Acre? 

* Head of Nile Delta? 

3 Corruption for Anbur near Barcelona? 

4 Corruption? 

5 Sicily. 



degrees minutes degrees minutes 


3 i 


Suecia' 3 












Buda in Hungary 






Vilhana 1 * 



Captor 1 

3 * 















4 ® 









4 1 


Cadafalso 1 * 



Medelim in Castille’ 


5 ° 







Trosilho 17 










4 * 














Perepinha 1 * 



Legion 3 







4 * 








Agueda' 9 



A villa 



Lorca’ 8 









Medina del Campo 




4 * 















4 2 





Santiaguo 4 






Valenqi 3 




4 i 


Albuquerque 6 






Tolosa 7 






Viana Provincie* 






Brujas 9 



Sena’ 3 


3 ® 

Collonha Agripina 10 









Cepta* 4 






Aljazira’ 5 



Augusta Vindelicor- 

Talaveira’ 6 



N a 



fieija’ 7 



1 In southeast Spain. The portolan charts of the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries mark Captor midway between Malaga and Almeria. 

* Near Badajoz. 1 Leon in Old Castille. Its Roman name was Legio. 

* I.e. Santiago de Compostela. 5 I.e. Valencia in Cd ceres. 

6 A town situated to the southeast of Valencia in the province of Badajoz. 

7 Tolosa near S. Sebastian? Toulouse? 

1 Vienne in Dauphind? 9 Bruges. 

** Roman name of Cologne. ” Strasburg. 

n Roman name of Augsburg. 13 Sweden. 

u Villena in Valencia? ,J Hita in Old Castille. 

1 Cadalso in the province of Cdceres. 

17 Trujillo to cast of Cd ceres. 11 Perpignan. 

19 Near Aveiro in Portugal. 19 Near Murcia. 

il Almeria. “ Atienza in New Castille. 

13 Siena in Tuscany. M Ceuta. 

* 5 Algcciras. u Talavera in New Castille. 

* 7 Near Cordoba. 


2 3 

degrees minutes 

degrees minutes 


4 * 


Coulam in India’ 3 






Xaul in India’ 4 




4 1 


Melinde in Ethiopia 




4 i 


Ilhas do Fayal e do 


4 * 














Cabo de Guer 



Rcquena 3 



Cabo de Nam 

3 ® 





Ilha de Forte Ven¬ 




tura in the Canaries 






Cabo de Bojador 






Angra dos Ruivos 





3 ° 

Angra dos Cavallos 



Tordclaguna 4 



Rio do Ouro 



Colonia 5 

S 1 


Cabo das Barbas 



Buarcos in Portugal 6 



Cabo Branco 



O Porto in Portugal 

4 1 


Rio de (panagui 






Cabo Verde and An¬ 

Ilha Terceira of the 

gra dc Bezeguiche 






Cabo dos Mastos 



Cabo de Finis terra 



Ilha de Sam Thiago 

Sorlingua 7 

dc Cabo Verde 




. . 

. # 

Rio de Guambea’ 5 



Ho de Sines 9 



Rio Grande 



Ilha de SSo Miguel 

Cabo da Verga 



of the Azores 



Ilhas dos Idolos 



Cabo de Sfio Vincente 



Auguada da Serra 







Cabo de Espartel 



Cabo de Santa Anna 



Ilha da Madeira 



Cabo do Monte 


4 ° 

Cabo de Cantim 



Rio dos Cestos de 

Trap ana in Cezilia 



Costa da Malagueta 



Ilha de Xio" 



Cabo das Palmas 



Cabo de Santo An¬ 

Castello de Sam 

gelo in Morea 



Jorze da Mina 



Maguadaxo in Ethi¬ 

Rio da Volta 






Rio do Laguo 



Cochim in India 



Rio Fcrmoso 

• • 

Ilha d’Anjadiva in 

Rio dos Escravos 

• • 




Cidade do Benin 

• • 

Calecut in India 



Cabo Fcrmoso 

• • 

Cananor in India 



Ilha de FemS do Poo 

• • 

1 Valencia, capital of the province of that name. 

1 Near Caiatayud. 1 Near Valencia. 

4 Torre laguna in New Castille. * Cologne. 

6 Near Coimbra. 

7 Sdlly Isles (vide portolan charts, e.g. Catalan Atlas, c. 1375). 

* Ushant. * Cape Sines in Southern Portugal. 

,e Cadiz. “ Chios. 

** Anjidiv Is., about 50 miles SSE of Goa. ’* Quilon in Travancore. 
14 Chaul, south of Bombay. * 5 Gambia River. 


2 4 

degrees minutes 

Serra Guerreira 

Ilha de Santo An¬ 
tonio, also called 
Ilha do Principe 





Ilha de Sam Thom6 



Ilha de Cori Mori 

near Persia 1 



Ilha da Boa Vista 


degrees minutes 

Ilha do Sal near 
Ilha da Boa Vista 16 30 

Ilhas de S. Nicolao, 

Santa Luzia, Sam 
Vincente. All these 
four islands close 
together, near the 
Ilha da Boa Vista 16 40 

These are the latitudes of the following places located south 
of the equator: 

degrees minutes degrees minutes 

Rio do Guabam on 

Cabo das Agulhas 



the equator 



Auguada de Sam 

Cabo dc Lopo Gon- 







Rio do Infante 



Rio do Padram 



Ilhco da Cruz 

Cabo ...y fuso* 



Ilhcos dc Sam Chris- 

Angra das Aldeas 






Mangua das Areas 



Ponta de Santa Lu2ia 

3 ° 


Cabo Negro 



Ponta de Santa 

Angra da Balea 






Cabo do Padram 



Cabo das Correntes 



Angra da Comceip- 

Cabo de Sam Se- 







Angra de Sam Thom< 



Cofalla in Ethiopia 



Angra das Voltas 



Ilhas Primeiras 



Monos da Pedra 

3 i 





Angra de Santa Elena 



Cabo Delgado 



Cabo de Boa Esper- 










These are the latitudes of the following places located south 
of the equator in the land of Brazil: 

degrees minutes 



Angra de Sam Roque 



Porto Scguro 



Santa Maria d’Ara- 

Rio dc Santa Luzia 






Ilha de Santa Bar¬ 

Cabo de Santo Ago- 







Rio dos Hare fees 



Rio de Sam Fran¬ 

Ilha de Santa Crara 






Cabo Frio 



Auguada de Sam 

Ilha de...Femahu J 






Ilha de Santo Amaro 



Porto Real 



Ilha d'Acemsam 4 



Angra de Todolos 

Angra Fermosa 






Ilha dc Sam Louren90 



1 Kuria Muria Isles off the south coast of Arabia. 

1 Ponta das Camboas? {vide book ill, chap. 2). Text corrupt. 
J Text corrupt. 4 Ascension Isle. 


Chapter viii 

Concerning the Equator and the understanding of the 
earth's degrees of longitude and latitude. 

We hold it to be a true and certain fact of astronomy that the 
Equator divides into two equal parts the circumference of the 
world, running from east to west and back to the east; being set 
at the centre of the globe it is distant ninety degrees from the 
Arctic Pole, which the mariners call the North, and likewise 
ninety degrees from the Antarctic Pole, which they call the 
South. A man standing with the Equator as his zenith will see 
the two poles level on the horizon 1 . Since these terms “ zenith ” 
and “horizon” are only understood by the learned, we have 
thought it well to explain them here in order to instruct those 
who have no knowledge of this matter; they must know then 
that the zenith is nothing but an imaginary point in the sky 
immediately above our head, and if a thousand men are standing 
together, or separate, or more or less than a thousand, each will 
have his own zenith. The horizon is where it seems to us that 
the sky joins the sea or the earth and is called the “ determinator ”* 
of our vision since we cannot see beyond. Thus he who reaches 
a point where he has the Equator for zenith will sec the two 

* Pacheco presumably had in mind the polar circles of the celestial sphere 
and not the terrestrial sphere. Our polar (or arctic and antarctic) cinde is 
fixed: his varied according to the view-point of the observer. His was the 
arctic circle of the Greeks, which was drawn on the celestial sphere parallel 
to the equator and tangential to the observer’s horizon, and it therefore 
separated the circumpolar stars that are always above the horizon from the 
sure that rise and set with respect to his (the observer’s) horizon. Since the 
altitude of the celestial pole is always the same as the latitude of the observer, 
the arctic circles would become zero for him at the equator: and, again, he 
would have no arctic circles if stationed south of the equator, nor would he 
have any antarctic circles if stationed north of the equator. Conversely, if 
the observer were at either of the poles the circle of the equator would become 
zero for him, that is, the equator would be his horizon—as Pacheco says lower 
down. ( Vide Strabo, Geography, book II, chap, z, para, z, note, Loeb 

* The word used by Pacheco— determinador —is the etymological definition 
of the Greek word horixonte, which the Romans translated by circulus finitor 
and circulus finiens (vide E. Dias, op. cit. p. 39). 



poles equally touching the horizon, as I have said, and if he 
travels until he has the Arctic or Antarctic Pole as zenith he will 
see the Equator as the horizon. Further, you must know that 
the degrees of latitude of the surface and circumference of the 
world are counted from the Equator towards the poles, and the 
number of degrees that either pole is raised above the horizon 
(which is also called the circle of the hemisphere) gives the 
number of degrees that a place, or man standing at that place, 
is distant from the Equator. The degrees of longitude are counted 
from orient to Occident 1 * , which the mariners call east and west, 
and this is difficult to ascertain because they have no firm and 
fixed point [of reference] as are the poles 3 for the latitudes, and 
of this I will say no more*. 

1 As a general rule, longitude used to be reckoned from the prime meridian 
which Ptolemy had used, namely that of the Fortunate Isles (i.e. Canaries) 
which were situated in the Western Ocean at what was regarded as the 
westernmost limit of the habitable earth. Accordingly the longitudes of 
places in the Old World came to be counted from west to east. Pacheco must 
have known that this was the practice of his own day, and therefore we can 
only suppose that he is guilty of a verbal slip in writing "from orient to 
Occident" (but cf. R. Bacon, Opus Majtis — Mathematica, chap. 16, p. 208, 
Burke’s edition). 

1 Text slightly corrupt. 

3 Vide Introduction, p. xx. 


Chapter ix 

Concerning the course of the sun towards the tropics. 

Twice in the year the sun crosses the Equator, giving two 
equinoxes, one on the eleventh of March 1 , when the sun is at the 
first point of Aries; the other on the fourteenth of September, 
when the sun is at the first point of Libra; at which times the 
day is equal to the night throughout the world. Moving from 
Aries the sun in its course gives us a high solstice, and proceeding 
till the twelfth day of June 1 enters the tropic and sign of Cancer, 
beyond which it never passes. This is called the summer solstice, 
and the sun's greatest declination from the Equator towards this 
region is 23° 33' [north]*. The sun then turns again and retires 
from Cancer and enters the sign of Libra on the fourteenth day 
of September 1 as I have said; proceeding, it gives us a low 
solstice until it reaches the tropic and sign of Capricorn on the 
twelfth day of December 1 . This is called the winter solstice; its 
greatest declination is 23 0 30'* [south] and this is its farthest 
limit. Thus it goes working and illuminating with its rays 
throughout the year, passing through the twelve signs of the 
Zodiac, entering and dwelling in one each month and leaving it 
to enter another. Because the altitudes of the poles calculated 
by the degrees of the sun’s declination are required for fixing the 
latitude and distance of certain places north and south of the 
Equator we will write here the manner of doing this, since 
without this explanation nothing certain can be done. However 
he who wishes to understand this must first know how many 
degrees and minutes the sun declines daily and travels from the 

* These dates are anterior to the reform of the calendar which took place 
in 1582 under Pope Gregory, when n days (5 to 14 October inclusive) were 
passed over. 

* Up to the time of Pedro Nunes (Tratado da carta de mortar) the most 
commonly given value of the sun's maximum declination was 23° 33'—the 
figure adopted by Zarkali. The corresponding value given by Regiomontanus 
(Ephemerides) was 23 0 30'. Nunes discussed the 3 minutes, and finding them 
unimportant dropped them. Pacheco compromised, adopting Zarkali’s figure 
for the northern, and Regiomontanus’s for the southern, declination. 



Equator towards either of the tropics; and when this is known 
and also the time when the sun’s declination must be added to 
the degrees of its altitude, or when the same declination of 
altitude is to be taken away or when there is no declination, then 
the degrees and latitude from the Equator towards either of the 
tropics and poles will be known. 

Chapter x 

How the degrees of the sun's altitude are to be added to 
its declination or the declination to be deducted from the 

The altitude of the sun should be taken exactly at noon with the 
astrolabe or quadrant. He who takes it on the eleventh of 
March, and on the fourteenth of September, and finds it to be 
90°, which is its maximum altitude, may know for certain that 
he is on the Equator and has it for his zenith; for at any other 
time except these two equinoctial days of March nth and 
September 14th, the sun does not reach an altitude of 90° at 
the Equator. He who takes the altitude on these two days and 
finds it to be fifty or sixty or eighty degrees, or more or less, 
but still under ninety, will not have the Equator for zenith; to 
ascertain his latitude he must deduct the number of degrees of 
altitude from 90° and this will give him the number of degrees 
of latitude from the Equator towards either of the tropics. 

Item. He who takes the altitude of the sun on the twelfth 
of June and finds it to be ninety degrees may know for certain 
that he is under the tropic of Cancer and so at a latitude of 
2 3 ° 33 ' fr° m Equator. If he finds an altitude of 90° on the 
twelfth of December he will be under the tropic of Capricorn. 
On these days one or other of the tropics will be his zenith 
and he will be in the aforesaid latitude, namely, 23 0 33' from 
the Equator. 

Item. The astronomers have decided that the distance from 
the Equator towards each of the tropics should be called the 



torrid zone and the “table” 1 of the sun. The sun pursues its 
course in this table throughout the year; while it rises to an 
altitude of 90° at the Equator and the tropics, as I have said in 
the preceding chapter, it also ascends during the course of the 
twelve months in travelling between these points that number 
of degrees in the said torrid zone. A man may be at such a place 
on any of the days of the year, and when the sun rises to an 
altitude of 90° it will be the zenith of his table; when he finds 
the altitude to be 90°, let him look at the table of the sun’s 
declinations for the declination of that day. Let him then deduct 
this number from the 90° and the remainder will give the degrees 
of latitude that he is distant from the Equator in the direction 
of either tropic. 

Item. If a man is at a place where the sun is between him 
and the Equator, whether the Equator be towards the Arctic or 
towards the Antarctic pole, let him first find the number of 
degrees of the sun’s declination on that day and subtract them 
from the degrees of the sun’s altitude; if he subtract the re¬ 
mainder from 90° he will have the number of degrees of latitude 
he is from the Equator in the direction of either tropic. 

Item. If a man is situated between the sun and the Equator, 
towards either pole, he must first take the sun’s declination for 
the day from the table of declinations and add its degrees to 
those of the sun’s altitude, then subtract from 90° and the 
resulting number will give his distance in degrees of latitude 
from the Equator towards either tropic; but if the sum of the 
degrees of altitude and the degrees of declination exceeds 90°*, 
then the 90° must be subtracted and the resulting sum will give 
the degrees of latitude. 

Item. If you are in a place where the Equator is between you 
and the sun, whether towards one pole or the other, first find 
in the tables of declination the degrees of the sun’s declination 
for that day, then take the sun’s altitude, adding its degrees to 
those of the declination and then subtract 90°. The result will 

1 Cf. Martin Cortes, The Art of Navigation, chap. 2 (translated by R. Eden). 

* A moment’s reflection will show that when the observer is between the 
sun and the equator the sum of the sun’s noon altitude and declination must 
always be more than 90°, so that Pacheco’s equation for this case should 
read: latitude (north or south) equals declination plus altitude minus 90°. 



give the degrees of latitude that you are distant from the Equator 
towards either tropic. 

He who would understand this work of ours must know the 
months in which the sun moves from the Equator to the tropic 
of Cancer and similarly to the tropic of Capricorn, as I have 
said in chapter 9; for if he knows the time of the sun’s course 
towards either region and its declinations and the differences of 
the shadows it makes according to the month in which it is this 
side or that side of the Equator, he will be able to understand 
this work. 

Chapter xi 1 

How to compute the ebb and flow of the sea in the greater 
part of Spain and likeioise in other regions where there 
are tides. 

With very good reason we have based one part of our work on 
the art of navigation, as we have pointed out at the end of the 
Prologue to this book; and since we must make use of it in all 
our voyages by sea, we must briefly explain the calculation of the 
moon’s course, by which we can know the ebb and flow of the 
sea; for those who know this calculation for the tides will be 
able easily to learn them and will know why the mariners say 
that in the greater part of this country of Spain they flow north¬ 
east and southwest. When these are known they will be able to 
judge by them if the tides elsewhere flow northeast and south¬ 
west, as in Spain, or wherein they differ. Thus we shall be able 
to know, wherever we are, either inland far from the sea or 
coming from the deep sea in search of land to enter some river, 
how the tide stands, judging by the phases of the moon and 
considering how many days have elapsed from the time of the 
conjunction and new moon to the day and hour for which we 
require to know the tide; with this knowledge our ships will be 
able to enter safely rivers and other places for which it is 

* Vide Introduction, pp. xxvi et seq. 



necessary 1 to know the state of the tide, without actually seeing 
its ebb and flow. 

Item. We must first note that the astronomers have affirmed 
that from the time the moon is new and in conjunction with the 
sun, which the common people call “antrelunho, ” to the time 
when the conjunction and new moon recur, there is an interval 
of 29 days, 12 hours and 33 minutes 2 ; and in every 24 hours 
(which is a natural day) after the conjunction, the moon draws 
away from the sun four-fifths of an hour and continues in this 
course during 14^ natural days, 16 minutes and one second?, 
at the end of which time it is opposite the sun and full. It then 
begins to hide itself gradually and to conceal from our sight the 
light it receives from the sun, approaching the sun each natural 
day after the time of its opposition and full moon four-fifths of 
an hour again, until there is a fresh conjunction and a new 
moon; and this is the monthly movement of the moon as 
displayed before our eyes. 

Item. There is a difference between the astronomers and the 
mariners concerning the course of the moon, for the astronomers 
say that during each natural day of twenty-four hours from the 
time of the conjunction and new moon to the time when it is 
full and in opposition to the sun, the moon draws away from 
the sun four-fifths of an hour and then similarly approaches the 
sun four-fifths of an hour daily until it is again in conjunction, 
as we have already explained in the preceding paragraph in 
this chapter; but the mariners affirm that the moon recedes from 
and approaches the sun only three-quarters of an hour in each 
natural day, which is equivalent to a quarter point on the 
compass. Accordingly there is a difference between them of a 
twentieth of an hour; and although the astronomers may be right 
in this matter and the mariners wrong, the difference of three 
minutes is so slight that it makes no difference, introducing 

* The text is corrupt at this point. 

1 M. Cortes (op. or.) gives 29 days 12 hours 44 minutes, which is the more 
usual figure, and correct to 3 seconds. 

5 It is difficult to see how Pacheco arrived at this figure, for the “ oppo¬ 
sition" was usually regarded as occurring exactly half way through the lunar 
cycle. The general reckoning was 14 days x8 hours 22 minutes after con¬ 



neither difficulty nor palpable error into the calculation of the 
tides of which we hope to treat. We will therefore follow the 
opinion of the mariners, since the tides are more easily calculated 
by the compass than in any other way, according to the ancient 
practice of mariners. 

Chapter xii 

How it is necessary , in order to learn the tide y 
to know how to read the compass. 

He who wishes to learn to calculate the tides must first know all 
the points of the compass with its quarter points and half points, 
since this is the essential foundation of this matter and without 
it there can be no certainty. The mariners and pilots who 
practised this [art] of old first learned the points of the compass, 
quarter points and half points, and deduced therefrom the 
rhythm of the ebb and flow of the sea in the province of Spain 
and in other regions according to the difference of the tides, 
beginning from the Rio de Barbate in Andaluzia to Galiza 1 and 
the greater part of Bizcaya, calculating six hours ebb and six 
hours flow as follows: northwest and southeast, low tide; north 
and south, half way to high tide; northeast and southwest, high 
tide; east and west, half way to ebb. Now it must be understood 
that when the moon is in the northwest and southeast the tide 
will be low on the coast of Spain, and when it is in the northeast 
and southwest the tide will be high along the whole of the coast 
of Spain and along the coast of Berbery from the straits of 
Cepta; this is always so, whether the moon be new or half or full. 

Item. The mariners say, what is indeed true, that from point 
to point of the compass there is an interval of three hours, the 
eight points making in all twenty-four hours or a natural day, 
and that each quarter point represents three quarters of an hour 
and each half point one hour and a half, and thus it [the day? 
sun?] advances regularly through all its points, half points and 
quarter points. When the moon is new and in conjunction with 

1 I.e. the province of Galicia in northwest Spain. 



the sun, being in the southeast, the hour will be nine o’clock 
and the tide will be low on the coast of Spain outside the straits; 
for this reason the mariners say “ northwest and southeast, low 
tide,” since when the moon is in the northwest, whether it be 
new or in any other phase, there will be the same low tide. On 
the same day when the sun passes, with the moon in conjunction, 
to southeast by south the tide w'ill be one-eighth full; when it 
passes farther to the southsoutheast it will be a quarter full; 
when it reaches south by east the tide will be three-eighths full. 
When the sun, with the moon in conjunction, is in the south it 
will be midday and the tide will be half full, and therefore the 
mariners say “north and south, half-flow,” for when the moon 
is in the north it makes the same tide; when the sun and moon 
together are south by west the tide will be five-eighths full, and 
when they are southsouthwest the tide will be seven-eighths full, 
and when the sun and the moon together reach the southwest 
the tide will be high on the coast of Spain; it will then be three 
hours after noon. Therefore the mariners say “northeast and 
southwest, full tide,” for the moon causes this same tide when it 
is in the northeast no matter what its phase, either in conjunction 
with the sun or away from it. 

Item. When the sun and moon are in conjunction on the day 
of the new moon, when they pass from the southwest to south¬ 
west by west the tide will have ebbed one-eighth, and when they 
are at westsouthwest, a quarter; and when they are west by 
south, three-eighths; when they both reach the west it will be 
half ebb (each quarter point representing one-eighth of the tide). 
Therefore the mariners say “eastwest, half ebb,” for when the 
moon is in the east it causes the same tide. 

Item. When the sun and the moon in conjunction go from 
the west to west by north the tide will have ebbed five-eighths; 
when they pass to westnorthwest it will have ebbed three- 
quarters, at northwest by west it will have ebbed seven-eighths, 
and when they reach the northwest it will be low tide. Therefore 
the mariners say “northwest and southeast, low tide.” 

Item. When the sun and moon in conjunction are at north¬ 
west by north the tide will be one-eighth full, and at north- 
northwest a quarter; and at north by west three-eighths, on the 





coast of Spain 1 as we have already said; therefore the mariners 
say “northeast and southwest, full tide.” 

Item. When the sun and moon, as we have mentioned above, 
are in northeast by east, the tide will have ebbed one-eighth, 
when they are in the eastnortheast, one-quarter; when in east 
by north, three-eighths, and when in the east, half ebb; therefore 
the mariners say “east and west, half ebb.” 

Item. Because the moon in every twenty-four hours (or one 
natural day) after its conjunction recedes from the sun one 
quarter point of the compass if was fitting that we should explain 
in the first section of this twelfth chapter why we began to 
calculate the tides at nine o’clock in the morning when the sun 
and moon were in conjunction in the southeast; and now having 
gone through all the points of die compass and explained about 
the tides 2 , and twenty-four hours having passed since we began 
this work, and the moon being three-quarters of an hour behind 
the sun, it no longer makes the tide as on the previous day but 
three-quarters of an hour later, which is one quarter point of 
the compass. Because of this it is well that what we have 
explained should be known and we will end in the southeast 
where we began. 

Item. When the sun and moon pass from the east to east by 
south the tide will have ebbed five-eighths, and when they are 
in the southeast seven-eighths^; and when the sun is southeast 
by south and the moon southeast it will be low tide on the coast 
of Spain outside the Straits. For this reason the mariners say 
“northwest and southeast, low tide.” We have already said that 
twenty-four hours after the conjunction of the sun with the 
moon the tide is three-quarters of an hour later, and forty-eight 

* There is a lacuna in the text at this point. Judging by the context the 
original presumably contained the indications of the state of the tide when 
the sun is in north, north by east, northnortheast, northeast by north and 

1 Text corrupt. 

3 Pursuing Pacheco’s reasoning, if the tide has ebbed five-eighths when the 
sun is cast by south, it will have ebbed three-quarters when it is eastsouth- 
east and seven-eighths when it is southeast by east. Low tide, then, will 
occur when the sun is again in the southeast. But, by hypothesis, low tide 
should occur a quarter point later, i.e. when the sun is southeast by south. 
Vide Introduction, pp. xxvii, xxviii. 



hours after the conjunction it is an hour and a half later, each 
twenty-four hours representing one quarter point of the com¬ 
pass ; he who wishes to calculate the tide must therefore see in 
what point of the compass the sun is and then count the number 
of days which have passed since the conjunction, counting a 
quarter point of the compass for each twenty-four hours up to 
fifteen days or less, and according to the position of the moon 
will be the tide; that is to say, if it is in the southeast it will be 
low tide and if in the southeast by south the tide will be one- 
eighth full, and so on, as we have already explained. When this 
mode of calculating the tides of Spain is known it will be 
possible to infer whether the tides in other regions are the same 
or different. 

Chapter xiii 

How the ancient cosmographers began their description of 
the circumference of the globe from the mouth of the 
Straits , which order we will follow. 

At the mouth of the western Mediterranean, where it is said 
that the columns of Hercules were placed, there are two pro¬ 
montories which excel in height and beauty all others in those 
parts; one of these is Abila at the beginning of Africa and the 
other Calpe in Europe 1 , and here, properly speaking, is the 
mouth of the western Gaditanian straits, the only access to the 
Ocean according to some ancient writers. These promontories 
are now called Serra da Ximeira 1 and Monte de Gibaltar re¬ 
spectively; and from these the best cosmographers began their 
description of the circumference of the earth. We will do the 
same, limiting ourselves however to Africa and part of Asia, for 
they described Europe at such length that it is unnecessary to 
say any more about it. Although the ancient writers had much 
learning (and we might profit a little from certain parts of their 

1 Cf. Pliny, Natural History, book ill, Introduction. 

1 I.e. Jebcl Must. 



3 6 

excellent works) yet because the navigation of Menelaus 1 the 
Carthaginian from Calez 2 past Ethiopia of Guinea to the 
Arabian Gulf and of Eudoxus from the same place to Calez had 
been lost sight of, we can make use of nothing in the books of 
the ancient cosmographers for this navigation; w T e must rely on 
the discoveries which at great toil and expense the aforesaid 
princes ordered to be made and on that which your Highness 
has discovered and recently learned. But because those who 
wrote of the world lacked both the practical knowledge and the 
foundations of the art of seamanship, which is so necessary for 
this matter that without it we can do or discover nothing by 
sea (but they in their cosmography omitted it, either because 
they did not know it, or did not think it essential), and because 
the light of the discovery of the circumference of the globe lies 
principally in this art of seamanship and in the routes and ways 
of the coast, it is well that w r e should set forth and explain that 
which the ancient and modem writers alike omitted, for the 
knowledge and fulfilment of this navigation of the Ethiopias of 
Guinea and of India and other parts; so that if time destroys 
the memory of this navigation, it can soon be recovered and 
reconstructed from what is here set down. Therefore, as a 
foundation for our work we will begin from the promontories 
of Ximeira and Monte de Gibaltar, following the order of the 
ancient writers, and we will describe the whole of the coast 
thither to the said Ethiopia and India, using the proper names 
and winds that mariners meet with and use, since it cannot be 
avoided. Ponta d’Almina is the actual part of Ximeira which 
the ancient writers called Abila*. Here is situated the great and 
excellent city of Cepta 4 , of which we give a drawing painted from 
sight, as also of Monte de Gibaltar, which marks the beginning 
of our western Straits; in the time of its prosperity Cepta 
excelled in greatness and wealth all the other cities of Maure- 
tanya and Tingitania and also some of those of Spain. This is 
where the lands of Africa, which abound in corn, wine, fruits, 

1 Pacheco obviously means Hanno—cf. Prologue, p. i. 

* I.e. Cadiz. 

5 It is more usual to equate the northern extremity of Jcbcl Musa, i.e. 
Leona Point, with Abila. 

4 I.e. Ceuta. 



meat and many kinds of fish and in many other things worthy 
of much praise, begin, and it is 35$° north of the Equator, the 
same number of degrees as the pole star is above the horizon 1 * * . 
When the wind is in the east ships can shelter in Almina on the 
western side, where there is a shore which is called “ O Porto 
d’el ReyV* They can anchor in twenty fathoms, half a league 
from land on a clean bottom; when the wind is in the west 
they can ride at anchor to the east behind Almina on an equally 
clean bottom. Aqui mapcO>. 

Item. Since we have spoken of the two fair promontories, 
Abila in Africa and Calpe in Europe, it is reasonable that we 
should now speak of the great city of Cepta in Africa, situated 
five leagues from the town of Alcacere Ciguer 4 , which is outside 
the strait by the sea. All the country round Alcacere is wild and 
mountainous, and there are two high mountains rising from the 
sea; the one on the left to the east has an old half-ruined castle 
called Old Alcacere 5 ; the other mountain to the west is called 
Sermil 6 7 . For greater clearness we here show Alcacere, with part 
of its environs, drawn from sight. The land is very rich and 
abounds in all the necessities of life. On another page we will 
speak of the very ancient and fortified city of Tanger 7 . Any ship 
having to anchor at Alcacere should look out [for the place] in 
the bay where we have painted a caravel; if it is a small ship it 
may anchor there and if a large one a little farther out. 

Aqui rnapa. 

1 Literally “the circle of the hemisphere.” Actually Ceuta is 35° 56' N. 

* I.e. Ensenada de la Almadraba; vide Mediterranean Pilot, vol. I, p. 138 
(4th edition). 

5 Judging from the various contexts in which this phrase occurs, it may 
be construed to signify cither sketch-map, chart or painting. Needless to say 
the words were inserted by the copyists to indicate the position of the 
“ mapas " in the original manuscript. Vide Introduction, p. xxx. 

4 I.e. El-Qsar es Sgir. 

5 Cf. Mediterranean Pilot, vol. 1, p. 101 (4th edition). 

4 Mt San Simonito? Vide Mediterranean Pilot, vol. I, p. 101 (4th edition). 

7 I.e. Tangier. 

3 » 

Chapter xiv 

Concerning the routes , distinguishing features , soundings , 
and the degrees of the Pole Star above the horizon in 
going towards Guinea and India from Tanger. 

As things worthy of remembrance ought not to be forgotten, 
it is fitting that we should record what we know of the very 
strong and ancient city of Tanger, which is five leagues from 
Alcacere outside the straits. In ancient times it was called Tingi, 
as Pliny says in the first chapter of the fifth book of his Natural 
History ; this name many years later was changed to that of 
Tanger. We have placed here a picture of the city and of Cabo 
d’Espartel drawn from sight. In latitude Tanger is 35 0 15' north 
of the Equator 1 . Pomponius Mela, a very ancient writer, in the 
first book of his cosmography* says that Tingi was built by the 
giant Anteus who fought with Hercules, and that on the outer 
wall hung a very large shield covered with elephant skin; it was 
too large to be used, but the inhabitants of this land believed 
that it was carried by Anteus in battle. 

Item. Two leagues beyond Tanger is the promontory of 
Espartel, so that from Cepta to Espartel is twelve leagues; Ponta 
d’Almina lies ENE and WSW with respect to Espartel, and he 
who makes this voyage should keep two and a half leagues to 
the seaward of Espartel. At this point the tide flows during nine 
hours towards the Straits and ebbs for three hours, differing 
from the tides of which we spoke above 3 . The whole of the 
country along the coast from Cepta consists of very high moun¬ 
tains ending in Espartel, and the shore along this coast is so deep 
that ships can only anchor very close to the land. To the SSE 
of Espartel there is a very good anchorage, with protection from 
the east [wind], where one can anchor in fifteen, twenty, twenty- 
five and even thirty fathoms, and everywhere the bottom is clean 

* Actually 35 ° 49 ' N. 

* De Situ Otitis, book I, chap. 5. 

3 Vide supra, chap. 12. 



and sandy 1 . In a bay near this cape a tunny fishery has been 
established, in which many boats have taken part; this land is 
very fertile in everything and has many other fisheries besides 
that of tunnies which we have mentioned. Aqui mapa. 

Item. Between Cabo d’Espartel and Recife d’Arzila, which, 
according to Pliny in the first chapter of the fifth book of his 
Natural History, was formerly called Liza*, the coast runs north 
and south and occupies five leagues of the route. The country 
from Espartel along the sea is all low lying and has a clean 
bottom and*... hidden rocks, so that it is everywhere possible to 
anchor with security. Arzila is 35 0 50' north of the Equator 4 . 
The Recife d’Arzila should not be entered without a pilot or 
without making use of the marks which are set up in that neigh¬ 
bourhoods, to wit: two masts fixed in the ground within the 
channel by which ships should enter. For greater clearness we 
here show T the city of Arzila with its reef, painted from sight, and 
in the painting a caravel is sailing to show the right entrance. 
Within the reef small ships up to thirty-five tons can anchor, but 
they should fasten their anchors [as a security] against the north¬ 
west wind, which blows obliquely and is accompanied by a great 
swell which is dangerous to shipping. All these four places, 
Cepta, Alcacere, Tanger and Arzila, belong to this kingdom of 
Portugal, and to its royal crown, for it is now about ninety years 
since Cepta was captured by force of arms from the Moors by 
King John I of glorious memory, your greatgrandfather; the 
other three were taken by King Afonso V, your uncle, forty-seven 
years ago 6 , for they waged fierce warfare against these enemies 
of our holy catholic faith, which your Highness ever spreads and 
increases by your many victories. Aqui mapa. 

* I.e. Jeremias anchorage: “an open roadstead about 4 miles southward 
of C. Spartel... much resorted to by vessels prevented from entering the 
Strait3 of Gibraltar by strong easterly winds” (Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 139, 
9th edition). 

* Lissa in Pliny. 

* There is a lacuna in the text at this point. The context appears only to 
require some such negative qualification as “without” or “free from.” 

4 Actually 35 0 28' N. 5 Text slightly corrupt. 

4 Ceuta was taken in 1415, El-Qsar es Sgir in 1458, Tangier and Arzila in 
1471. Vide Introduction, pp. xvi, xvii. 

4 o 

Chapter xv 

Concerning the routes, distinguishing features, soundings 
and tides and the elevations of the Arctic Pole at and 
beyond Larache. 

Item. If a ship leaves Arzila to go to Larache on a night so 
dark that the land cannot be seen, it should stand out to sea a 
good league from the reef [of Arzila] and steer SSW for three 
leagues from Arzila, when it will double Ponta das Barrocas. 
These Barrocas are lofty, white sea-cliffs; and all the country 
between Arzila and Larache consists of low hills which terminate 
in the aforesaid cliffs. Thence to the mouth of the Rio de 
Larache 1 is a distance of two leagues; in our time the entrance 
to this river is on the SW, very near a rock which has a rampart 
with two small towers, close to the river at the foot of the town 
of Larache. This is shown in the painting, made from sight, 
which we have placed here. The channel of this river has four 
and a half fathoms of water at high-tide, and the tide is northeast 
and southwest with an ebb and flow of six hours each, as in our 
Spain. This river can be recognised by the following landmarks: 
to the SW is a castle known as the Castle of the Genoese 2 , so 
white as to have the appearance of a ship’s sail; to the NE are 
the Barrocas, high and white, as we have said, and in a bay there 
is the mouth of the Rio dc Larache. Those who ascend this river 
for the distance of one league will find on their left hand the 
ruined city of Xamez*, which formerly was a great and wealthy 
city. It is said that for forty years after the conquest of Spain 

* I.e. Wad el Qua. 

* In the Middle Ages this stretch of the Moroccan coast down to about 
Sal6 was the outlet for the thickly populated kingdom of Fez. Genoese, 
Pisan, Venetian and Catalan merchants came to buy the products brought 
by caravans from the interior. The Genoese seem to have been the most 
successful traders. As early as c. a.d. iioo we hear of the republic of Genoa 
entering into a commercial treaty with the reigning monarch Abu-Yakub. 
Later Pisans, Catalonians, Aragonese entered into rivalry with the Genoese, 
but abandoned the contest ultimately. The castle referred to by Pacheco was 
presumably one of their fortified factories. 

3 Epiphanio Dias (Esmeraldo de Situ Orbis, cdif§o critica annotada, p. 52) 
is of die opinion that this town occupied the site of Pliny's Lixos—i.e. the 
modern Tchemmich. 



by the Moors it held out against the Moors and was finally 
destroyed by them, as being a Christian city. A league seawards 
from the mouth of this river is a clean sandy bottom of twenty- 
five fathoms, affording safe anchorage for shipping; there is also 
good fishing in this river, and the surrounding country produces 
much com, but in summer fever is rife. The latitude of the place 
is 36° io' north of the Equator 1 . Aqui mapa. 

Item. From the Rio de Larache to Halagunas 2 3 is five leagues, 
and these lagoons have an inlet within which there is a lake which 
only small vessels can enter; above it to the east is a round clump 
of cork-trees, which is the landmark for these lagoons. Five 
leagues beyond them is a fairly high hill called Fornilho*. 

Item. Five leagues beyond Fomilho is the Rio da Mamora 4 . 
From Larache thither this coast lies N by E and S by W; those 
who make this voyage should keep very close to land and, if it 
is night, must steer SSW in order to navigate it safely. This 
Rio da Mamora has, on its south side, a very high dark grey 
cliff*, and within the entrance of the river to the east there is a 
thicket running all along another cliff. At the present time this 
river has two entrances; one of them lies northeast and south¬ 
west along a headland of sand, which as one enters should remain 
on one’s right, three or four stones’-throws away; the other lies 
east and west along a dark grey-coloured cliff and has a depth 
of four and a half fathoms at high tide. The tide flows northeast 
and southwest, six hours ebb and six hours flow; small ships of 
thirty tons can go up this river six or seven leagues, but large 
vessels must remain lower down near its mouth. A league within 
the mouth of this river is an island with a plentiful supply of 
wood. Both this river and that of Larache are in summer time 
very rife with fever. At the mouth of this river, and also farther 
along, is a clean anchorage of thirty fathoms where ships may 
anchor safely, but they must guard against the northwest wind, 

1 Actually 35® 12' N. 

* These lagoons are in the vicinity of Old Mamora: vide Africa Pilot, 
Part I, p. 141. 

3 Cf. Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 142. 

4 I.e. Wadi Sbu. 

* It is some 456 ft. high and constitutes the landmark for the town of 
Mehediya: vide Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 142. 



which blows obliquely to the shore. Small vessels can ascend 
this river to the city of Feez in winter 1 * . The country along this 
river is flat and supports many flocks and many orange groves. 

Item. The Rio da Mamora and the river and town of £ale 3 
(of which we here give a painting from sight) lie northeast and 
southwest and occupy seven leagues of the route. This Rio de 
£ate can be entered from the ESE side alongside a tower and it 
has a depth in its channel of a good two and a half fathoms at 
high tide, the tide flowing northeast and southwest; to the south 
it has another channel, and between these two channels stretches 
a very long line of reefs with sandbanks here and there on which 
the sea breaks with force. The landmark of this river is the very 
large and lofty tower of (pal#, shaped as it is here painted; there 
is not another tower like it on all this coast. The city of (pate is 
also large, but thinly peopled. The sea by this river affords clean 
good anchorage, and at a depth of fifty fathoms one is ten leagues 
from the shore. In (pale there are three villages 4 5 —we show two 
of them in our drawing; they are situated on the said river, one 
of them being towards Themicinaa, where the Arabs of Enxouvia 
dwell, and this village is called Arravalde; the other is called 
Exale, which was formerly the burial place of the Kings of Feez, 
their other burial place being in Hell. From Mamora (where 
the other river—called Cebvi*—which comes down from Feez 

1 The Wadi Sbu doe* not flow within 5 miles of Fez and is not navigable 
even for the smallest craft for more than 90 miles upstream. (Fez is approxi¬ 
mately 250 miles from its mouth.) 

* I.e. Wadi Bu Regreg and Sali (with which Rabat is incorporated). 

5 I.e. Hassan Tower, situated at the eastern end of that town and built by 
the Emir, Yakub el Mansur. Leo Africanus has the following reference to it: 
“ So exceeding is the height thereof, that I think there is no where the like 
building to be found:.. .from the top they [can] descry ships a huge way into 
the sea...” (History and Description of Africa, book ill, p. 401, Hakluyt 
Society). The tower still stands 180 ft. high after all these centuries. 

4 On the north bank of the Wadi Bu Regreg was the town of old Sali (or 
Sali, Sella, Sallee). This was the great mediaeval trading port of Morocco 
(vide Leo Africanus, op. cit. book in, p. 407). On the south bank and im¬ 
mediately opposite Sali was Rabat (Rebat in Leo Africanus), built by Yakub 
el Mansur in a.d. 1190. Also on the south bank, but “two miles from the 
ocean sea and a mile from Rebat” (Leo, op. cit. p. 403) stood the third of 
Pacheco’s " villages,” Sheila (Sella in Leo), the “Sala Colonia” of the 
Romans. It was here that el Mansur and many other Almohades and Merin- 
ides were buried. 

5 I.e. Wadi Sbu. 



debouches) it is five leagues to the town of Qa\ 6 . All these three 
places are called by the one name £ate. Ten leagues from there 
is a small river called Tifil Felti 1 ; eight leagues still further on 
is another river called Bety\ and from Bety to the city of Feez 
is seven leagues. So that from <pal6 to Feez is twenty-five leagues, 
and all this country abounds in com, meat, fish, honey and many 
other good things. There are also very good horses, which are 
frequently brought to these kingdoms*. Aqui mapa. 

Chapter xvi 

Concerning the routes , landmarks , soundings , tides and 
elevations of the pole star from Almancora and Fedala and 
the country towards Guinea and India. 

Item. The Rio de £ald and town of Almancora lie NNE and 
SSW and occupy seven leagues of the route. It is said that this 
castle of Almancora 4 was depopulated and destroyed by lions, for 
they devoured so many of its inhabitants that the few who were 
left fled and went to live elsewhere. From Almancora to the 
islands of Fedala* is about a league, and the landmark of Fedala 
is two islets where small vessels up to eighty tons can anchor in 
four and five fathoms. The bottom is sandy and clean and the 
anchorage good, but those who stop here should make their 
anchors secure, because of the strong surge at this point. To any 
one making for this land from the sea these islands will not 
appear to be islands, but when approaching them from the NE, 

' I.e. Wadi Telfil: cf. Leo, op. at. p. 412. 

* Marmol speaks of two rivers with similar names, Beht and Bchet. They 
rose in the Atlas Mountains. Vide Harris’s Collection of Voyages and Travels, 
vol. I, p. 314. 

5 l.e. Portugal and Algarve. “These kingdoms M is the expression habitually 
used by Pacheco when speaking of his own country. 

4 The site is now occupied by the small town of Mansuria. 

5 I.e. Cape Fdala—‘‘a projection formed by a chain of rocks, 16' to 50' 

high_The summit of the Cape is a little conical hill at the north extreme. 

From a distance the Cape has the appearance of an island” ( Africa Pilot, 
Part I, p. 147). 



one league off, they will be seen to be so. All this coast is a 
beach, and for clearer understanding we have set here a painting 
from sight of the town of Almancora (with a tree which serves as 
a landmark) and of the islands of Fedala. Aqui rnapa. 

Item. The town of Almancora and the islands of Fedala lie 
with respect to the bay of the city of Anifee 1 NE and SW, and 
occupy five leagues of the route; and all this stretch of coast 
consists of rocky cliffs, there being little beach, and has a dirty* 
bottom. The landmark of the city of Anifee, which is drawn here 
from sight, is a great bay with a reef of rock close to the land; 
the reef has a narrow entrance on its NE side but on its SW side 
there is no entrance. Apart from this landmark the place can 
easily be recognised by the city itself with its great tower and 
by the country [inland], which is very flat and abounds in all 
necessary products. It is now some thirty-eight years 1 since the 
excellent Prince Fernando your father with a great fleet and army 
went in person against this city and entered it by force of arms 
and destroyed it and returned to these kingdoms with great 
honour and victory; this fall of Anifee came after another serious 
defeat received one hundred and sixty-five years ago*, when all 
the principal people of the city of Anifee were killed in the battle 
of Salado, which was fought between Gibaltar and Tarifa at a 
place called Pena do Cervo 4 . In this battle the excellent prince 
and magnanimous knight King Afonso IV of these kingdoms of 
Portugal, your great-great-great-grandfather, who lies buried in 
the cathedral of Lisbon, took part. He went to the assistance of 
his son-in-law, King Afonso XI of Castille, with a large army 
from these kingdoms when seven Moorish kings had invaded 
the realm of Castille in very great force and were taking his land 
from him. This most serene Prince helped the King of Castille 
to defend himself, for he was unable to hold his own against such 
a big enemy force. How great a service this most fortunate King 
rendered to God and what honour he won in this battle in the 
defence of His holy name and of the realm of Castille may be 

1 I.e. Casablanca Bay (vide Africa Pilot, p. 148). The town of that name 
now occupies the site of Anaf6. 

1 The destruction of Anaf6 by Fernando took place in A.D. 1468. 

3 The battle of Salado was fought in October a.d. 1340. 

4 I.e. Pefla del Ciervo, 2 leagues from Tarifa. 



read in his Chronicle. In this battle perished all the noble and 
honourable men of Anifee, as we have stated, and to this day 
the city has never recovered its prosperity. We could say many 
things of the former grandeur and prosperity of Anifee, but we 
would not be prolix. 

Item. Leaving the bay of Anifee in the direction of the SW 
there is close by a cape called Cabo do Camelo 1 ; from here to 
Fuma d’Acicor 1 is ten leagues, and all this coast is beach with 
a clean bottom, so it is possible to anchor securely at any point 
along it. This Fuma d’Acicor has above it three hills of sand in 
the shape of pointed paps* and also a fairly tall wood. To the 
NE of this cove and 4 league seawards there is a reef of rock on 
which the sea breaks; these are the landmarks of the Furna 
d’Acicor. The coast here lies NE and SW. Aqui mapa. 

Chapter xvii 

Concerning the routes , landmarks , soundings , tides and 
elevations of the pole star from Anifee to Azamor and 

Item. From the Fuma d’Acicor, of which we have spoken 
above, to the river and town of Azamor 4 are two leagues, and 
this coast lies NE and SW; opposite this river a league out to 
sea the bottom is all clean, being sand and mud, with 35 and 
40 fathoms, and it is clean also at twelve and thirteen fathoms, 
but nearer to the land it is all dirty, with stone and rock which 
cut the hawsers. On the first sandbank of this river, a good 
league outside its mouth, there are at least four fathoms of water 

* I.e Table d’Aukasha. 

* I.e. Azimur Point. The Scossor of the portolan charts? 

* Cf. Africa Pilot, Part 1, p. 15 j. 

« I.e. Wadi Umm er Rbi’a, on the left bank of which is situated the town 
of Azimur. 



at high tide 1 ..., there are two and a half fathoms of water. The 
sea does not break on this shoal, because there is a bank farther 
out which breaks it; passing within this latter sandbank close to 
the town of Azamor there are five to six fathoms of water. 
At the present time the channel of this river lies NW and SE and 
only accommodates small vessels. The tide flows NE and SW. 
Since the bar and channel of this river often change, the pilot 
who would enter it should take soundings at the bar or should 
take a local pilot in order to enter safely. The landmark of this 
river is that two leagues to the NE is the cape and cove of 
Acicor, which we mentioned in a former paragraph; he who sails 
a league beyond this cape in the direction of this river will reach 
the town of Azamor. Here there is marvellous shad fishing, the 
fish being very large and good; they pay tribute with these to 
your Highness*. This town of Azamor and its neighbourhood 
produces a great abundance of corn, meat, fish and many other 
products; and to this town extends the first part of the kingdom 
of Feez. And now since we have said something of the places 
along the coast, it is fitting that we should tell where it begins 
and speak of some of the cities and towns of the interior and of 
the second part of the kingdom. 

We will now speak of the kingdom of Feez. It begins at 
river called Meluya 3 , which divides it from the kingdom of 
Tremecem, and which lies ten leagues beyond Cabo d’Antre- 
fulcos 4 ; from here to the mouth of the straits of Cepta is fifty 
leagues. Five leagues to the west of the Rio de Meluya is 
situated the town of Melilla 5 , which is on the frontier between 
Feez and Tremecem. Seven leagues west of Melilla is the town 
of Ca9a9a 6 , and twelve leagues west again is a town called Belez 
da Guomeira 7 . Thirty' leagues beyond is situated the great city 

* There is a lacuna in the text at this point. The context seems to require 
only the insertion of the words “on the second sandbank” to complete the 

* The town of Azimur was tributary to Portugal from 1468 to 1542. 

) I.e. River Muluya which forms part of the present-day boundary between 
Algeria and Morocco (cf. Leo Africanus, op. cit. book ix, p. 931). 

4 I.e. Cap des Trois Fourches. 

5 Called Millela in the portolan charts, e.g. Vesconte and Catalan Atlas. 

* The ChAsasa of Leo Africanus, vide History of Africa, book in, p. 534. 

7 The Bedis of Leo (op. cit. p. 517). 



of Cepta; thence extends the whole coast of Cepta outside the 
Straits, with its rivers, bays, harbours, cities and towns as far 
as Azamor, as we have seen. In the interior is the great city of 
Feez, from which the kingdom derived its name; eight leagues 
beyond Feez is situated the city of Maquinez 1 ; farther on is 
another very good city called Teza 3 . This constitutes the first 
part of the kingdom of Feez; we will now proceed to describe 
the second part and will follow the order of the coast from the 
Rio d’Azamor onwards. 

The second part of the kingdom of Feez 3 begins at the Rio 
d’Azamor, whence to the bay of Mazaguam is two leagues; this 
bay and the river lie NE and SW and occupy two leagues on 
the route. Here formerly was the city of Mazaguam, now totally 
destroyed 4 ; this bay which is drawn here from sight affords good 
anchorage for large ships, but he who would anchor here* should 
strengthen his cables, for the bottom is foul and, in places, there 
are rocks which cut the cables. It is here that the plains of 
Duquella 6 , extending for nearly forty leagues, begin; the country 
is very rich in corn and meat. In this bay of Mazaguam many 
ships of these realms and of Castille take in a cargo of wheat 
when for our sins God gives us none. These plains are peopled 
by a race of Moors called Xarquya?, who, it is said, number more 
than 40,000 horsemen but are all unarmed. 

* The Mecnase of Leo (op. cit. p. 412), otherwise called Mekenes, Me- 
quenez, Meknes. It was one of the three capitals of Morocco. In Pacheco’s 
day the people of Mequenez were under the subjection of the King of Fez. 
Actually it is not beyond Fez, but to the seaward of it. 

* The modem Tazza (or Tese) and not the Tefza of Leo and Marmol. 

} Cf. Leo, lot. cit. book 1, p. 125 and book n, p. 283. At the time when 
Pacheco wrote the Empire of Morocco was in a state of political disintegra¬ 
tion. The kingdom of Fez, ruled by Mulat Said, was the effective power in 
the whole of the western Atlas region. In fact during the second decade of 
the sixteenth century the “king” of Morocco was a relation and vassal of the 
king of Fez. This state of affairs would account for Pacheco's extended 
application of the phrase “kingdom of Fez.” Vide infra, pp. 56-7. 

4 From this it seems that Pacheco was writing before 1506, for in that 
year the Portuguese built a fortified town on the site of the ruins. 

5 Text slightly corrupt. 

6 The Duccala of Leo Africanus (op. cit. book II, p. 283). Cereals still 
figure among the list of exports from this region, barley, wheat and maize 
being the most important. 

7 Cf. Leo, op. cit. book ct, p. 990. 



Item. The bay of Mazaguam and the town of Tyty 1 lie NE 
by E and SW by W and occupy two leagues of the route. About 
a half league or a little more before reaching Tyty is a bay of 
fair size, with room for ten or twelve small vessels and with a 
small ruined tower behind it. Tyty is distinguishable by a very 
high tower 2 , and also by a small bay into which ships can sail 
in calm weather; however they should guard against the NW 
wind which blows across the bay and makes the sea very rough. 
Formerly this town of Tyty had a large population, but now it 
has only a fourth part of its former population; the country is 
very rich in com, meat and fish. Aqui mapa. 

Chapter xviii 

Concerning the routes , soundings , landmarks and elevations 
of the pole star from Tyty to the country beyond , forming 
the second part of the kingdom of Feez. 

Item. The town of Tyty and Casa do Cavaleiro 3 lie ENE 
and WSW and are seven leagues apart. This Casa do Cavaleiro 
appears above 4 in the sketch, which was drawn from sight. For 
landmark it has a large house on the top of a plateau, and on the 
shore there is a great reef which can be entered on the NE side 
near a small island. Inside there is a cove in which ships of 
eighty tons burden can ride at anchor, but they should have four 
hawsers (two at the prow and two at the stem) on account of 
the heavy ground swell; there is a clean bottom of seven and 
eight fathoms. At this Casa do Cavaleiro there is much wheat 
and barley and many ships take in a cargo of it; there is likewise 

* Probably the Teturit of the Catalan maps. Leo speaks of it as Tit {vide 
History of Africa, book 11, p. 288). 

* “The ruins of Tit, situated about 3 miles NE of C. Blanco, consist 
mostly of the remains of a number of square towers ” {Africa Pilot, Part I, 
P- * 53 )- 

3 El Waladieh? Vide Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 153. 

4 From the context it would seem that there is a slight “ lapsus ” here, and 
that Pacheco wishes actually to refer to the "mapa” below. 



an abundance of meat and game. Out at sea in fifty and sixty 
fathoms there is good pixotas 1 fishing, as well as many other 
kinds of fish; those who go there, however, should beware of the 
Arabs and take hostages, for they are very evil-disposed people. 

Aqui mapa. 

This is the Casa do Cavaleiro, which the Moors in their 
language call Ugueer\ and to facilitate its identification we have 
given a painting of it here. The Casa do Cavaleiro and Cabo 
de Cantim lie east and west and occupy seven leagues of the route. 
He who sails for this cape should guard against a rocky shoal 
beneath the water at a little over half a league to the NW; this 
shoal is very dangerous and many ships have been lost there, 
and when the sea flows in it breaks on it. The landmarks of this 
Cabo de Cantim are that on its northern side the land projects 
above it in the shape of a hat, that at this point the coast turns 
south, and that its latitude is 33^° north of the Equator 3 ; these 
three facts serve as distinguishing features. He who leaves Cabo 
d’Espartelor Arzilatogoto Cantim ought, on getting three leagues 
out to sea, to maintain a southwesterly course; by doing so he 
will keep outside the bay, for Cantim and Espartel lie NE and 
SW and occupy eighty-two leagues of the route. He who wishes 
to come in and anchor at the Casa do Cavaleiro should study 
this drawing, which shows the passage between the mainland 
and the islands. He should anchor inside [the reef] in eight 
fathoms 4 , using four hawsers, two from the prow and two from 
the stem. Aqui mapa. 

Item. The above-mentioned Cabo de Cantim and Ponta do 
Canaveal 5 lie N by W and S by E and occupy five leagues of 
the route; at Ponta do Canaveal is a very good spring and its 
landmark is a high hill behind it. Ships often take in water 
there; but he who lands there should set a man to keep watch, 
for the Arabs when they see a Christian endeavour to kill him. 

1 Literally ** little fish." 

a The Benimegher Mountain of Leo Africanus? His description runs as 
follows: “Benimegher is distant from Azafi about 12 miles.. .this mountain 
is so exceedingly fruitful for oil and com that a man would scarce believe it ” 
(History of Africa, book n, p. 295). J Cape Kantim is actually 32 0 33'N. 

* There is a lacuna here which cannot be filled with certainty. However, it 
does not appear to spoil the sense. 5 I.e. Cape Safi. 





A little more than half a league beyond Ponta do Canaveal is the 
city of Qafy 1 , which pays tribute to your Highness, and which is 
here portrayed. It is situated near the sea and all round about the 
coast is beach and inhospitable. If a vessel anchors off here it must 
beware of the west wind which blows across this harbour. This city 
of £afy is rich in com, meat and fish and has many good horses, 
which are obtained from the Arabs. Some of them are brought to 
these realms. Here also we find gold 1 , which the Arabs bring by 
land from Guinea, hides of all kinds in abundance, honey and 
wax, as well as other merchandise, on which a good profit is made. 

Thirty leagues beyond the city of £afy inland is the great 
city of Marrocos 3 with its twenty-four gates. In the days of its 
prosperity, so it is said, a thousand horsemen with their captain 
would go out by each gate. When the Moors conquered Spain 
in the year of Our Lord 719, they took from Sevilha and its 
churches ninety large bells, which to-day are kept in the tower 
of the principal mosque; they have no clappers but are preserved 
as a memorial. Eight of the gates are lined with bronze; these 
also came from Sevilha. Although this city is still very big and 
populous and one of the chief places of Africa, to-day it does not 
possess a thirtieth part of its former population, for most of its 
best men fell in the battle of Salado with those of Anifee, as we 
stated above. We have read that St Augustine 4 was a native of 

* I.e. Safi (alternatively Saffee, Sefi, Saffi, Asafi, Azafi, Asafie, etc.). The 
Portuguese captured Safi in r5o8 (vide E. Prestage, Portuguese Pioneers, 
p. r79), which hardly agrees with Pacheco’s statement that it was paying 
tribute to the Portuguese at the time of his writing—presumably a.d. 1505-6. 
Leo African us (op. cit. book II, p. 288) says, however, that the Portuguese 
conquered the town “in the year of Hegira, 920”—i.e. in 920 plus 485(6) 
which is a.d. 1505-6. For a detailed history of Safi vide R. Brown’s note on 
pp. 367 et seq. of vol. II of Leo Africanus’s History of Africa (Hakluyt Society). 

* Cadamosto confirms this, for he tells us that the gold of Melli was 

carried northwards along three different routes, one of which led from 
Timbuktu via Hoden (Pacheco’s Audcm) to Oran, Ona, Fez, Morocco, 
Arzila, Azafi and Messa (vide C. Schefer’s edition of Cadamosto's Voyages, 
p. 63). * I.e. Morocco or Marrakesh. 

4 Pacheco is confusing St Augustine with the patron saint of Morocco. 
St Augustine was a native of Tagaste, a town in Numidia, and was bom in 
a.d. 354. Marrakesh was only founded in a.d. 1062. There was, however, 
some excuse for Pacheco’s mistake, because in his day there was a monument 
in the town of Aghmat (the capital of the Almoravides before the founding of 
Marrakesh—lying to the south of that city) which the people affirmed to 
cover the grave of St Augustine, whom they called St Belabech (vide 
R. Brown, op. cit. p. 359). 



this city and went thence to Italy, where he learnt Latin letters 
and the Latin language and by the grace of the Holy Ghost 
became a Christian. 

Item. At twelve to fifteen leagues inland from Qafy towards 
Marrocos and also off the road [to Marrocos] are the following 
places: Almedina 1 , Alhamiz*, Bulanham 5 , Coeyta 4 and Tedenez 5 , 
which of old was great but is now uninhabited. Having said 
this much, it now behoves us to keep to our purpose and return 
to £afy and from there describe in order the other places along 
the sea-coast. Aqui mapa. 

Chapter xix 

Concerning the routes , landmarks and degrees of elevation 
of the pole star above the horizon from Qafy and other 
places beyond. 

Item. £afy and the Rio dos Savees 6 lie N and S, and occupy 
five leagues of the route. This river is very small, and only small 
boats can enter it; we will not therefore speak of its tides nor 
of its distance from the Equator. On the south side, acting as 
a landmark, is a high mountain range running from E to W and 
called the Ferrarias?; on the north side there is a single high 

1 Literally "the city.” Every large town in Morocco has a "medinah” 
section. It is probable, however, that this town is to be identified with Leo’s 
Alemdin (vide History of Africa, book 11, pp. 299, 383-4)- 

* A lost city? "All over the region of Morocco.. .are scattered ruins of 
what seem to have been large towns or villages, the desertion or destruction 
of which is attributed to famines and epidemics, or to the vengeance of 
Sultans, powerful chiefs, and the ‘Rumc’ or Christians” (R. Brown, op. cit. 

15 J^The Bulahuan of Leo and the Tabulawan of modem times. It is located 
on the south side of the Umm-er Rbi’a not far from Meshra Bu el Avan (vide 
R. Brown, op. cit. p. 377). 

* Another lost city? 

5 Leo speaks of a Tednest, but this town was not destroyed until 15x6. 

6 I.e. Wadi Tenaift, vide Africa Pilot , Part I, p. 156. 

1 I.e. Jebel Hadid or the Iron Mountains, which extend some 20 miles 
behind the coast between Wadi Tcnsift and Hadid Point and attain an 
elevation of c. 2300 ft. 




isolated mountain which comes down to the bank of the river 
and the sea breaks against it. The entrance to this river is 
between two rocks. 

Item. The Rio dos Savees and the island of Moguador lie 
ENE and WSW, and occupy seven leagues of the route; this 
island is small, not larger than the Berlengas 1 . It has two 
approaches, one on the NE and the other to the WSW, and 
from the mainland to this island is a good arrow shot. On the 
mainland and close to the sea there is plenty of fresh water 
flowing into the sea. Of these two approaches to this island 
harbour and anchorage the better is that on the NE, for the 
other is dirty and rocky, but a ship of a hundred tons can enter 
by the good approach; however it should make itself fast with 
anchor and hawser, the hawser being attached to the island. It 
will find six or seven fathoms here and a safe, clean bottom; but 
all around for a distance of half a league the bottom is dirty and 
rocky and any ship anchoring there will lose its anchor. This 
island is of a fair height 3 and on its northern coast it has a small 
but very lofty islet which has a ravine in the centre, into which 
the sea penetrates and upon which it breaks with a resounding 
roar. In the year of Our Lord 1506 3 your Highness ordered a 
castle to be built on the mainland in this town of Moguador 
hard by the sea, called Castello Real. This was constructed and 
commanded by Dieguo d’Azambuja, a knight of your household 
and Commander of the Order of S. Bento da Comenda d’Alter 
Pedroso. He was greatly beset by the opposition and attacks of 
the barbarians and Arabs, who united to fight with all their might 
against the builders of the castle, but the castle was completed 
notwithstanding and the glory of victory rested with your Sacred 
Majesty. This and many other things that I might mention are 
objects of admiration, as is the conquest of the Indies, still more 

1 The archipelago of that name found off the west coast of Portugal in the 
neighbourhood of Cape Carvoeiro. 

1 Mogador Island is not more than 100 ft. high but it is surrounded on 
almost all sides by islets that rise sharply from the water’s edge. None of 
these, however, is “very lofty ”—vide Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 156. 

i This fort was erected by the Portuguese, not to hold the country but to 
protect their traders who called in there, and to keep up communication 
between Safi and Agadir. As Pacheco refers to the event in the past tense, it 
would seem that he was now writing after a.d. 1506. 


so because it is your Majesty who has done this and many other 
excellent works. 

Item. Castello Real and the island of Moguador lie N by E 
and S by W with respect to Cabo do Seem 1 and occupy five 
leagues of the route; from Moguador to this Cabo do Seem 
there are only rocky shoals, and although you can circumvent 
these shoals by going S by W, for greater safety you should sail 
SSW, and especially when navigating at night. This Cabo do 
Seem is narrow and low, and provides anchorage with shelter 
from the E to the NW on its south side; here in seven and eight 
fathoms, a gunshot from land, it is possible to drop anchor on 
to a clean bottom, but a large ship should anchor farther out 
to sea. 

Item. Cabo do Seem and Tafetana* lie N and S and occupy 
three leagues of the route. Tafetana is a very large cliff of rock 
as high as Cabo de Sam Vincente, jutting into the sea. Behind 
it is a small creek which can give anchorage to fifteen or twenty 
vessels of sixty tons; he who enters this harbour should sail 
close to this cliff for at a distance of two stones’ throws is a 
dangerous shoal where the sea breaks, but inside it ships can 
find very good clean anchorage—opposite a mosque—in seven 
fathoms. Thence by going two leagues in a N-S direction 
they will find another bay called Zebiliquy*, in which twelve or 
thirteen ships of sixty tons can anchor. There are six or seven 
fathoms of water here; moorings should be made with anchor 
and hawser. This bay is sheltered from NW to SE and its land¬ 
mark is a white road which descends a very steep hill to the sea. 

Item. The bay of Zebiliquy and Cabo de Guer 4 lie NE by N 
and SW by S, and occupy eight leagues of the route. The signs 
by which you may identify this cape are a very high plateau like 
a table projecting over it, and the fact that the coast along it lies 
ESE and WNW. However, if a vessel wishes to sail from Cabo 
de Cantim to Cabo de Guer it ought to proceed SW by S for 
20 leagues, that is to say as far as the island of Moguador, which 

' I.e. Cape Sim, 31 0 24' N. 

* I.e. Cape Tafelneh, the Tefethne of Leo Africanua: vide History of 
Africa, book II, p. 243. 

s Imsouan Bay? 

4 I.e. Cape Ghir. 



will then be 5 leagues to the ESE; by sailing south for 24 leagues 
from here, it will arrive at Cabo de Guer. This is the exact 
route for those leaving Cantim for the said Cabo de Guer: in 
this way they will sail safely across the bay. Cabo de Guer is 
31 0 25' north of the Equator 1 . Behind the cape the coast follows 
an eastwest direction, and the whole of the country behind the 
cape is very mountainous: the mountains 5 are visible behind the 
cape from the open sea as one is approaching it, and also from 
inside it. There are three landmarks by which the cape may be 
readily recognised: the country we have described, the flat land 
which projects over the front of the cape in the shape of a table, 
and thirdly the fact that the coast trends in an east and west 
direction at this point. In addition to this there is the latitude 
of the place. He who is six leagues out to sea from Cabo de Guer 
will, in good weather, see the peaks of the Clear Mountains*: 
these are so lofty that they seem to touch the clouds. In this 
mountain-range is a very pointed peak which is lower than the 
others and which has on it a castle called Palma 4 . In this same 
range 2 leagues farther on from this castle is another one called 
Turucuco; 3 leagues beyond is another castle called Tucurumu; 
and 1 league farther on again is another castle called Taramate. 
Along this coast for 4 leagues to the SW 5 , there is good clean 
anchorage for ships at whatever number of fathoms they may 
wish. Here, too, there is an abundance of pixotas and many other 
kinds of fish. He who would anchor off Tamarate [rtc] should 
come in close to land and make fast in 7 to 12 fathoms, for here, 
as well as further in, he will find a clean bottom and be able to 
moor in safety. Further out all the bottom is dirty as far as 
Auguoa de Narbaa. 

* Actually 30° 35' N. 

1 These are the heights of Idantenan, which form the western extremity of 
the Atlas Mountains and attain an elevation of more than 4000 ft. 

} I.e. the Atlas Mountains, vide chap. xxi. 

4 In this part of the Atlas country castles or " ksars ” (i.e. fortified villages) 
are very numerous. Leo African us speaks of three in the province of Cheneg 
(i.e. Southern Morocco) and it is possible that they are to be identified with 
those mentioned by Pacheco, although only one is named, vi2. Tammaracrost 
(i.e. Tamarate?). Vide History of Africa, book VI, p. 781. 

5 Southeast? Vide Africa Pilot, Part 1, p. 160. 


Chapter xx 

Concerning the routes, landmarks and latitudes 
of places beyond Cabo de Gtier. 

Item. Cabo de Guer and Auguoa de Narbaa 1 lie ESE and 
WNW and occupy ten leagues of the route. The landmark of 
Angra [sic] de Narbaa is a lofty hill behind it with some huts 
on top. Below on the shore is the castle of Santa Cruz*, com¬ 
manding the said bay, in which any large ship can find clean 
good anchorage at whatever depth it requires. It is a notable 
thing that your Highness should have ordered the construction 
of this fortress by Joham Lopez de Sequeira in a land of 
barbarians, enemies of our holy catholic faith, who came in 
countless multitudes to oppose its construction, and that the 
enterprise was directed and carried out by force of arms from 
the other side of the sea, 50 leagues from your Highness’ realms, 
the opposition notwithstanding, according to your good and holy 
purpose. This fortress is situated by the sea, and it is easily 
recognised, because all the other castles in the vicinity of Cabo 
de Guer are on the mountains, while this castle, as we have said, 
is by the sea. This country is rich in com, meat, fish, honey, wax, 
hides, and many other commodities which yield good profit. 
There is also gold, which the Moors bring from Guinea overland. 
For greater clearness we here give a painting of this fortress of 
Santa Cruz. 

Item. The castle of Santa Cruz in the Auguoa de Narbaa 

1 I.e. Agadir Bay. 

1 I.e. Agadir. Leo African us calls it Gartguessem, probably the name of 
the native village (vide History of Africa, book u, p. 253) before the Portu¬ 
guese began to establish a foothold there towards the end of the fifteenth 
century. Santa Cruz did not long remain in their hands, however, for in 1536 
the Sheriff Mulai Mohammed el Arrani, aided by a Genoese renegade, 
besieged it with an army of, it is said, 50,000 men and, after a stout defence 
by the garrison, captured it by mining the walls with gunpowder. After this 
the place, under the name of Agadir, remained in the Sultan’s hands and for 
many years was the entrep6t of an extensive trade with Timbuktu and the 
Sudan, the port being the best in Morocco and the natural outlet for the rich 
province of Sus. 



and the Rio de Meca 1 * lie NW and SE and occupy eight leagues 
of the route. There is a clean bottom as far as Tefinete 3 4 , which 
is five leagues from the Auguoa de Narbaa. From this point to 
Meca it is dirty, and all along this coast there is beach. Opposite 
Meca a league and a half out at sea it is shallow, there being 
places where the depth is not more than two or three fathoms. 
When the wind is blowing strongly from the N or NE all these 
shallows break into foam, so that ships going to this land always 
anchor two leagues from the shore, and if it be a large ship even 
farther out. A wise pilot will always anchor in the offing for the 
safety of his ship. Half a league before reaching Rio de Meca 
there is a mosque on a slope rather more than a gunshot from 
the sea; from there to the landing-place of Meca is two leagues 
on the same NW and SE route from Auguoa de Narbaa. As soon 
as you get opposite the shore of the said landing-place you will 
see a road leading to a ruined house; this resembles a limekiln 
and is nearly half a league distant from the sea on a plateau. 
Small vessels of twenty to twenty-five tons can anchor there in 
a creek in twenty fathoms on a clean bottom; they should use 
both anchor and hawser and should neither pass beyond this 
road nor yet stop short of it, for the anchorage is at this exact spot. 

In Meca* there are three villages inland about one league from 
the sea; all three have the name of Meca and are fairly pro¬ 
sperous. Here is the boundary of the second part of the kingdom 
of Feez*, which begins at the Rio de Meluya fifty leagues within 
the Straits beyond the city of Cepta; for this river divides Feez 
from the kingdom of Tremecem, as we have said in the second 
paragraph of the seventeenth chapter of this book. From this 
same Rio de Meluya along the coast to the town of Azamor is 
130 leagues, and this forms the first part of the kingdom of Feez; 
from Azamor to Meca is the second part, with eighty leagues of 
coast. All told therefore, Feez has 210 leagues of coastline. It 

1 I.e. Wadi Mesa. 

* Suwanieh? 9 miles south of Agadir. The Africa Pilot speaks of a change 
in the character of the coast at this point which might easily be productive 
of "a dirty bottom” (Part 1, p. 162). 

1 I.e. Mesa, Messa or Massat; cf. Leo Africanus, op. cit. book n, pp. 248, 
341. The Africa Pilot speaks of two villages in this vicinity (Part I, p. 162). 

4 Vide supra, p. 47. 



is a country rich in corn and meat and other products, while its 
seas abound in fish. The King of Feez is able to take the field 
with 100,000 horsemen. As for the merchandise of this realm, 
there is an abundance of wheat and barley, honey, wax, dates, 
indigo, hides, skins and many good horses, with other articles 
of great value which are daily purchased and brought to these 
realms. The products of our country which are valued in the 
kingdom of Feez are silver and red, blue, green, purple and 
yellow cloths; the finer they are the more they are prized. They 
also buy Dutch linens, fine handkerchiefs and other coarser ones, 
which they call “bordateis.” All kinds of arms and tools they 
would willingly buy, for they have great lack of them; but since 
it is forbidden by the Holy Fathers in Rome and by the laws of 
your kingdom to sell arms to infidels, no one dares do this. What 
w-e have said is a summary of the kingdom of Feez, its might 
and the character of its products. The fortune of its people is 
to believe in the error of the sect of Mahomet who, they consider, 
was truly a messenger of God sent to this ignorant people for 
the remission of their sins; but he taught them all the vices and 
abuses of the body and nothing at all of virtue, for his primary 
intention was to destroy all that is difficult to believe or irksome 
to perform. In his complacence he granted them those things 
to which vicious and miserable men are inclined, especially in 
Arabia, where Mahomet was born, for its inhabitants make lust 
and greed and rapine their continual pursuit. As these perverse 
people are hostile to our holy Catholic faith, the kings of these 
realms from the time of King John of glorious memory have 
always waged war unsparingly against them and have captured 
the four towns which I mentioned in the third paragraph of the 
fourteenth chapter of this book. 

Chapter xxi 

Concerning the Clear Mountain and their excellence 
and the fabled Mount Atlas. 

As we have undertaken to describe the noteworthy and memorable 
things of Africa, it is right that we should not omit the Clear 
Mountains, situated near the harbour of Meca, for there are few 
countries in the world of equal beauty and height, so that they 
must be accounted one of the noble sights of Africa 1 . They are 
situated in the interior some ten leagues from Meca, and the 
Moors in their language call them Gibel 2 . It is said that Rodrigo, 
King of Spain, reigned over the country from the Straits of 
Cepta to these mountains, all this country being then inhabited 
by Christians, and he entitled himself Lord of the Clear 
Mountains. They yield much corn, fruit, honey, wax, and 
raisins and much iron, copper, hides and good fresh water and 
much other profitable merchandise which the inhabitants of 
these mountains take to the port of Meca to sell. Particularly 
noteworthy are the size and height of these mountains; for a 
very considerable distance eastwards along the coast of Africa 
they are so lofty that they seem to be above the clouds. In this 
country there is a race of people numbering about thirty thousand 
(including five or six thousand horsemen) who are warlike, but 
who, in some respects, seem to observe part of the Christian 
faith 3 , for they keep Sunday very strictly, doing no work on that 
day, and if any of their enemies go among them on a Sunday 
they will welcome him and do him no injury. Some of these 
men came to the city of Qafy and spoke with Ruy Fernandez, 

1 Cf. Leo’s description of the mountains of Demenfera (op. at. book II, 
p. 246) and Hanchisa (ibid. p. 256). 

* Literally "mountain.” 

9 Leo refers to the survival of certain Christian practices in his description 
of the people of Fez (op. at. book ill, p. 452); cf. Marmot’s description of a 
tribe called Azusrucs living on the mountains and hills of Barbary and 
Numidia (quoted in J. Harris, Collection of Voyages and Travels , vol. 1, 
p. 629). Le Clercq in his L’Afrique Chritienne tells us that "au xiv« sifccle, 
dans les villages des Ncfzaona, on rencontrait quelques communautds 
chrEtiennes, qui s’itaient maintenant depuis la conquCte ” (vol. II, p. 323). 



who at that time was there as the commercial agent of your 
Highness, and told him their way of life and belief, saying that 
their ancestors were Christians and that they possessed many 
ancient books left by them written in Latin, which they kept for 
the memory and honour of their race. This and other informa¬ 
tion concerning the range of the Clear Mountains we thought 
well to set down in this work; we will further add what is said 
by Pliny in the first chapter of the fifth book of his Natural 
History and by Ptolemy 1 in his work Be Situ Orbis and by other 
authors, who stated that Mount Atlas is situated here, a single 
mountain so high that it overtops the clouds, and told many 
fables concerning it; but as the ancient writers did not know of 
this region or explore it as we have explored it, it is no wonder 
that they fell into error, for a mountain of such a shape is not 
to be found in all that region, but only the very high mountain- 
range of the Clear Mountains which traverse a great part of the 
length of Africa, as we have said above. It seems therefore that 
these must be Mount Atlas, although they are very unlike the 
shape and description of Mount Atlas given by the ancient 
writers. And now we must resume our description of the places 
and harbours along the sea-coast. 

Item. The Praya de Meca and Cabo d’Aguiloo* lie ENE and 
WSW and occupy five leagues of the route, and this Cabo 
d’Aguiloo presents a massive front to the sea, for it has rising 
above it a mountain reminiscent of the hump of a camel; the 
cape falls to the sea like the cliff of Cabo de Sam Vincente and 
behind its point there is a bay. Half a league inside the bay in 
the interior is the village of Aguiloo with about 300 inhabitants; 
it has an abundance of good water and orchards, fruit and other 
produce, and also a fair amount of gold which the Moors bring 
thither from Guinea^. Small vessels up to eighty tons can anchor 
in this bay, but as the bottom is dirty they must take soundings. 

1 Pacheco obviously intended to write Pomponius Mela here (vide De Situ 
Orbis, book in, chap. 11). 

1 I.e. Cape Agula. The “ mountain " is actually a range of mountains, some 
2000 ft. in elevation, lying a considerable distance inland (vide Africa Pilot, 
Part I, p. 162). 

} Cad am os to does not list Aguilo among the Moorish entrepAts for the 
Guinea gold traffic. It was, however, close enough to Massat to have shared 
its trans-Saharan traffic in that commodity. 



Item. Cabo d’Aguiloo and Cabo de Nam 1 lie NE by N and 
SW by S and occupy twelve leagues of the route; Cabo de Nam 
is largely sand and is not very high. In front of it there are two 
islands, and two leagues inland is a very large mud-wall en¬ 
closure, five leagues in circumference; inside it are four villages: 
Taguaost, Haguost, Hahytemosy and Tyciguone 2 , containing in 
all some fifteen hundred inhabitants, who are usually at war with 
one another. Within this enclosure there is plenty of water and 
many gardens and orchards, with an abundance of fruit. The 
inhabitants of these villages are white, but there are some blacks 
among them. There is a big gold market here, for it is the port 
for AudemL Here “alquices 4 ,” coarse handkerchiefs, and blue, 
red and yellow cloths are much prized, likewise English cloths, 
linens and other articles. It was from Cabo de Nam that the 
virtuous Prince Henry began his discoveries. At the beginning 
of this navigation there was a saying: “He who reaches Cabo 
de Nam will return or will not” (although it is distant not more 
than 200 leagues from Lisbon) and now—Our Lord be praised— 
the King navigates as far as India, a distance of 4,000 leagues 
from Portugal. He who wishes to sail from Cabo de Guer to 
Cabo de Nam?... and the distance along the route is 30 leagues 6 ; 
by going outside the bay, he will make his way more quickly and 
safely. This Cabo de Nam is 30° 20' north of the equator 7 . 

1 I.e. Cape Nun. 

* Cf. Leo Africanus’s account: "In all Sus there is no city comparable 
unto that which is commonly called Tagauost, for it oontaineth above 8,000 
households... .The people of Tagauost are divided into three parts [Haguost, 
Hahytemosy and Tyciguone?]. They have continual civil wars among them¬ 
selves.. .their men are of a tawny and swarthy colour, by reason they are 
descended of black fathers and white mothers...” (op. tit. book n, p. 255). 

1 There is no reference in contemporary literature to any gold traffic at 
Tagauost. The port for Audem was Mesas. {Vide Cadamosto, op. tit. p. 63.) 

4 A kind of white Moorish mantle or burnous. 

5 Lacuna. 

* The coastwise distance between these two capes, on Pacheco’s reckoning, 
is 35 leagues. In the light of this (and the statement that follows it) it is 
obvious therefore that the lacuna originally contained directions for a shorter 
route between these points. 

1 Actually 29 0 20' N. 


Chapter xxii 

How God revealed to the virtuous Prince Henry that he 
should discover the Ethiopias of Guinea , and how his 
discoveries began at this point. 

It is not reasonable that we should pass over in silence those 
things the truth of which our heart desires to tell: how the 
virtuous Prince Henry, third son of King John I of Portugal of 
glorious memory, and of Queen Philip daughter of the excellent 
prince Duke of Lancaster of England, in his youth took part 
with the King his father in the conquest of the city of Cepta, 
which was entered by the gate of Almina after a sharp battle 
with the Moors. The Prince there showed a courage equalled 
by no knight in this battle, as we heard from persons who were 
present at the capture of this city and bore true witness to this 
fact. For this he attained the high military rank due to brave 
men for such deeds 1 . Some years after the capture of Cepta, 
after the death of the King his father, he founded and built on 
Cabo de Sam Vincente (known of old as the Sacred Promontory) 
the town of Ter?a Naval*, situated on the bay of Sagres*-, and 
withdrew there with his household from the woes and wickedness 
of this world, and lived a virtuous and chaste life, without ever 
knowing a woman or drinking wine or indulging in any other 
vice. He wore a hairshirt continually next to his skin and 
practised many other virtuous acts besides. He was at that time 
Master of the Order of Christ in these realms and lived such a 
good life that we may confidently believe that he was found 
worthy of that blessedness which all desire but few attain. We 
might say much more of this Prince and of his goodness, 

’ I.e. knighthood. 

* The precise year in which Henry took up his residence in this town is a 
matter of dispute. R. H. M^jor {Prince Henry the Navigator,pp. 51-2) held that 
he did so soon after his return from Ceuta, but if we are to believe Zurara 
{Cltronicle of Guinea, chap. 78) it would seem very unlikely that Henry with¬ 
drew thither until after his return from Tangier, i.e. after 1437. Pacheco’s 
statement tends to confirm this, for John I only died in 1433. 

5 Only ruins remain to mark the site. 



liberality and learning, all of which deserve high praise, but we 
will omit these things as not pertaining to our subject. We will 
only tell of the cause 1 which moved him to undertake the dis¬ 
covery of the Ethiopias of Guinea 1 , which is our principal theme. 

Virtuous men who love God and have clean hearts and hate 
iniquity are never abandoned by the grace of the Holy Spirit; 
one night, as the Prince lay in bed, it was revealed to him that he 
would render a great service to Our Lord by the discovery of the 
said Ethiopias, and that in this region a great multitude of new 
peoples and black men would be found; as, in fact, have been 
discovered from that time to our day; whose colour and shape 
and way of life none who had not seen them could believe; 
and that many of these peoples would be saved by the sacrament 
of Holy Baptism. It was further revealed to him that in these 
lands so much gold and other rich merchandise would be found 
as would maintain the King and people of these realms of 
Portugal in plenty and would enable them to wage war on the 
enemies of our holy Catholic faith. This revelation and the 
discovery of so many great regions now made known to 
Christendom seems to be a fresh mystery of God and no merely 
temporal matter; for that must needs come to pass which was 
foretold by the prophet David in the eighteenth 3 psalm which 
begins “The heavens declare the glory of God” and contains 
the verse “Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their 
words to the end of the world.” And because the teaching of 
Our Lord, which was preached by the Apostles, for the salvation 
of the whole world, was lost in these Ethiopias, He in His 
infinite mercy and goodness willed that it should be restored by 
us as heirs of his law and divine faith. Thus in the city of 

1 The account of the revelation that follows is also found in Jo 5 o de 
Barros’s Asia, Decade I, book I, chap. i. Damiao de Goes, a humanist of the 
Renaissance, refers to the story (Cronica de Principe D. jo&o) but rejects it. 
According to him Henry desired to find India: the accounts of Herodotus 
and other ancient writers convinced him that it had been reached by the 
circumnavigation of Africa, and this, together with the information he had 
obtained from natives well versed in African affairs, led him to order the 
rediscovery of the forgotten route. Vide E. Prestage, op. cit. pp. 31 </ seq. 
Zurara, who wrote nearer the time, simply gives a list of motives actuating 
Henry (op. cit. chap. 16). 

* In contradistinction to "the Ethiopias of India”; vide book 1, chap. 23. 

5 Actually Psalm xix. 4. 



Sam Jorze da Mina in the kingdom of Maniconguo* many 
Ethiopians have yielded a new spiritual fruit and in the time of 
the late King John and during your reign have become Christians 
and have hearkened to the Gospel which is spreading throughout 
the earth, so that the words of this psalm are being fulfilled. We 
must call Prince Henry, whom the glorious God chose for this 
fulfilment, most blessed; and blessed, indeed, are the Kings of 
Portugal his successors, who have won such glory, riches and 
honour from these conquests and commerce, with peace and 
prosperity, so long as they make use of them with charity and 
without harshness for the service of Our Lord. 

The Prince began this discovery for the service of God from 
Cabo de Nam and when the first negroes 4 were brought to these 
realms and he learnt the truth of this holy revelation, he wrote 
to all the Kings of Christendom inviting them to assist him in 
this discovery and conquest for the service of Our Lord, each 
of them to have an equal share of the profits, but they, con¬ 
sidering it to be of no account, refused and renounced their 
rights*. The Prince then sent to the holy Father, Pope Eugene IV, 

1 John Pory (vide Introduction to Leo Africanus’s History of Africa, 
Hakluyt Society, p. 79) places it in the kingdom of Benin, the kingdom of 
the Congo ending northwards near the “haven called Gurte” (i.e. Gwato), 
about 30 miles northnortheast of the mouth of the Benin River. 

* According to Zurara (op. dt. chap. 31) Dinis Dias brought the first 
“negroes” to Portugal. They were “ Azenegues of Sahara,” i.e. blackamoors, 
but judging from passages in chaps. 27 and 33 of book 1, Pacheco has in mind 
the negroes of the Senegal, i.e. Jalofs. The first of these were brought to 
Portugal in 1447-8. (Vide Zurara, op. cit. chap. 60.) 

* This statement is not confirmed by other Portuguese historians and is, 
moreover, difficult to reconcile with the Papal mandates (issued at the express 
wish of the Portuguese kings) conceding the sole rights and advantages of 
African navigation to the Portuguese. The only passage in Zurara that deals 
with “the Kings of Christendom” has an entirely different tenor. After 
rehearsing the virtues of the navigator, he asks "Who would not fear to 
compare himself with this our prince, seeing how that the sovereign pontiff, 
vicar-general of the Holy Church (Martin X) and the Emperor of Germany 
(Sigismund) as well as the kings of Castille (John II) and England (Henry VI) 
when informed of his great virtues, begged him to be captain of their armies? ” 
(op. cit. chap. 6). That still other Christian princes and rulers were also aware 
of the work of the Portuguese at this period, and unlikely to despise any 
request for help, is evident from the warm reception that Pedro, the second 
son of John I and brother of the Navigator, received on his tour of Europe. 
At Venice, for instance, the Doge presented him with a copy of Marco Polo’s 
travels and a “mappa mundi” by which Prince Henry “was much helped 



Femam Lopez de Azevedo, a gentleman of his household and 
a councillor of King Afonso V, and Commander of the Order 
of Christ, who presented to the Pontiff the embassy of the prince 
and the renunciation of the kings, and all his requests were 
granted 1 . For even as God revealed to the virtuous Prince this 
marvellous mystery which had been withheld from all the other 
generations of Christendom, so He willed that, by the hand of 
His vicar, pastor and father of the church, Pope Eugene IV, 
and by the blessings and letters of other holy Popes, the conquest 
and commerce of these regions even to the ends of India should 
be granted and bestow r ed on him. With this foundation this 
virtuous Prince set to work and bequeathed in perpetuity to the 
Order of Christ a tenth of all profits and revenues accruing from 
the islands of Madeira and the Azores and Santiago, and a 
twentieth of all profits from Guinea 3 , in payment and return for 
certain revenues of the Order which he as its Master spent in 
the discovery of these lands and islands; and this twentieth part 
could not be refused, denied or in any way withheld without 
mortal sin and forfeit. This virtuous prince died on the 13 th of 
November in the year of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1460, and lies 
buried in the monastery of Santa Maria da Vitoria da Batalha 
in the chapel of King John his father. 

And now beginning at Cabo de Nam, which, as it was the 
beginning of this discovery, we thought right to honour with 
a special kind of mention, we will proceed with our purpose as 
before; and because it is fitting that such princes should be 
had in remembrance, we have placed here a painting of his 

and furthered in his discoveries ” (vide Antonio GalvSo, Discoveries of the 
World, p. 66, Hakluyt Society). In the light of such evidence it would appear 
highly improbable that all the kings of Christendom should have considered 
such an invitation to be “of no account.*’ 

1 Cf. Zurara (op. cit. chap. 15) according to whom this embassy sought to 
make a partition between the Pope and Henry “of the treasures of the Holy 
Church, for the salvation of those souls who in the toils of that conquest 
should meet their end.’’ 

* Up to the last year or so of his life Prince Henry paid the tithe of 
the revenues, both of the islands and Guinea, to the Order of Christ. On 
26 December 1458, however, he signed a decree stipulating that the Order 
should receive tribute of the twentieth of all merchandise from the mainland, 
whether slaves, gold or whatsoever it might be, and that the remainder should 
fall to whosoever held the dominion, as he then held it, by royal prerogative. 


Series II. Vol. LXX1X 


British Museum, ligerion MS. 2803 


device, with his motto as he used it, written in the French 
language 1 . Aqui mapa. 

Item. Cabo de Nam and Cabo do Bojador lie NE by E and 
SW by W and occupy sixty leagues on the route; but a wise 
pilot will steer WSW for thirty leagues of this voyage and the 
other thirty SW by W and will thus round Bojador eight leagues 
out at sea; he should not take any other course, because Cabo 
do Bojador is most dangerous, as a reef of rock runs out into 
the sea more than four or five leagues, on which several ships 
have already been lost through ignorance. This Cape is very low 
and covered with sand; the bottom is so full of shoals that when 
you are in ten fathoms you cannot see the land* because it is 
so low. The whole of the coast from Cabo de Nam to Cabo do 
Bojador is low and sandy and almost deserted, and Cabo do 
Bojador is 27 0 10' north of the Equator 3 . The knights of Prince- 
Henry’s household, whom he sent out as captains of his ships 
to discover this Cabo do Bojador, and likewise the seamen who 
accompanied them, ought certainly to be blamed for not daring 
to pass beyond it; for during twelve years they were sent out 
yearly 4 by the Prince and when they approached Cabo do Bojador 
and found shallows and only three fathoms of water a league 
from land, they were so terrified by the strong currents 5 that 

* His motto “Talent de bien faire” could hardly have been more appro¬ 
priate, for in Prince Henry’s time the word “ talent” conveyed not the idea of 
“power” or “faculty", but of “desire”: vide R. H. M^jor (op. cit.) for an 
illustration of his device. 

4 It is the surf caused by the shoals, rather than the shoals themselves, that 
makes it difficult to distinguish the cape from the offing (vide Africa Pilot, 
Part 1, p. 169). 

3 Actually 26° 07' N. 

* From a letter of Afonso (22 October 1443, vide Algum Documentor do 
Archivo Nacional .. .Acerca das Navegafoes e Conquistas Portuguezas, p. 8) 
we learn that Prince Henry sent out ships fourteen times before he got news 
of the land beyond Cape Bojador. 

5 There is no suggestion in the Africa Pilot of dangerous currents at this 
point—“off C. Bojador the current pursues its steady course uninfluenced 
by any change in the direction of the wind and flows at less than one knot an 
hour, and at 4 miles WNW of the Cape sets SW at knots an hour” (Part 1, 
p. 43). There is, however, a suggestion that the cape lacks suitable anchorage 
and shelter from storm—considerations that would loom large in the mind of 
the Portuguese pioneer. “ The surf is exceedingly heavy all along this coast... 
landing on the south side [of the cape] is always difficult.” But these conditions 
improve southwards: “ from Cape Bojador the coast.. .trends SSE for a few 




none dared to sail out to sea and pass beyond this shoal. 
Accordingly they returned to the coast of Berbery and Graada 1 , 
where they cruised about to take some prizes in order to pay 
for the expense of their equipment; but the Prince was greatly 
displeased because they did not pass beyond the cape. In his 
desire to pass Cabo do Bojador and explore the coast beyond it, 
in the year 1434 s he equipped a vessel [barcha] and sent in it 
as captain a squire of his household called Gilliannes, to whom 
he spoke as follows: “ Gilliannes, you know how I brought you 
up from a boy and how I trust you in matters pertaining to my 
service; therefore I have chosen you out from all the rest to 
command this vessel and to discover and pass beyond Cabo do 
Bojador, and even if on this voyage you do no more than pass 
beyond this cape, I will consider that you have rendered a good 
service. The dangers you will encounter will not be so great that 
the hope of the reward I will give you will not be much greater.” 
The Prince added: “ I do not know how you have all imagined 
so vain a thing, for if it had the slightest foundation I would 
not blame you so much, but you tell me only the opinions of 
four seamen 3 who make the voyage to Flanders and back and 
to other ports to which they are accustomed to navigate and have 
no other experience; but do you go and have no fear and pass 
beyond the cape and win great honour and profit 4 .” These 

miles, thus forming a bay affording some protection from northerly and 
easterly winds." Here "there is good anchorage.. .on a bottom of sand and 
mud.” (Africa Pilot, pp. 279-81,8th edition.) Now an examination of the early 
portolan charts (down to c. a.d. 1450) elicits the fact that it was not the cape 
which constituted the southern limit of coastal knowledge, but the cove on its 
southern side, from which it follows that the question of danger in rounding 
the cape was not regarded as a very serious obstacle to southward advance. 
It may well be that the real reason why Cape Bojador (literally, the bulging 
cape) earned the name of "caput finis Africe” in the later Middle Ages lies 
in the arid and inhospitable character of the coast beyond (cf. Zurara, op. cit. 
chap. 8, p. 31, Hakluyt Society). 

1 I.e. Granada. At the time of which Pacheco speaks Granada was still a 
Moslem kingdom (as indeed it remained until 1492) and the whole of the 
Barbary coast was under Moorish rule. Together these coasts provided a 
very handy and lucrative rendezvous for Portuguese pirates. 

* In 1433 according to the generally accepted chronology (vide E. Prestage, 

op. cit. p. 55). 

5 E. Dias (op. cit.) suspects a corruption of the text here, but the sense of 

the copies is apparent. 

4 Cf. Zurara, op. cit. chap. 9. 


words so impressed Gilliannes that he forgot all his fears and 
inspired by a great desire to serve the Prince, he in this year 
1434 sailed fifty leagues beyond Cabo do Bojador x . On his return 
the Prince knighted him and rewarded him appropriately and 
with great honour and possessions established him in the town 
of Lagos, where he lived many years. This Gilliannes was the 
first to pass two leagues beyond Cabo do Bojador and therefore 
deserves this notice. 

Item. Cabo do Bojador and Angra* dos Ruivos lie N by E 
and S by W and occupy thirty leagues of the route. Whoever 
makes this voyage should keep close to the shore and sail 
cautiously so as not to run aground; but the ship that is seven 
leagues out at sea from Cabo do Bojador and sails S by W, will 
make the Angra dos Ruivos and be at safety a distance of three 
leagues, a little more or less out at sea from it. At Bojador the 
pilot will have to stand out to sea the aforesaid seven leagues 
in order to make the voyage safely. Now we will resume the 
routes and voyages from the city of Lisbon to these parts 
according to our customary manner of navigation. 

Chapter xxiii 

How zee are accustomed to -navigate to these Ethiopias 
of Guinea from the city of Lisbon. 

From the province of Lusitania in the realms of Portugal, where 
is situated the very ancient and excellent city of Lisbon, the 
capital of our country, in which I the author Duarte Pacheco 
was bom, by command and permission of the most serene 
Prince King Manuel our Lord (the first of his name to reign in 
Portugal) we are wont to sail in his fleet and ships to the Lower 

* Barros (op. at. Decade I, book I, chap. 5) give* 30 leagues and implies 
that these league* were discovered on a second voyage in company with 
Gongalves Baldaya in the year 1434, his first voyage (1433, according to 
Barros) having resulted only in the rounding of the cape. 

1 I.e. Garnet Bay. “Ruivos” can be translated equally well as “mullet,” 
“gurnet” (whence garnet) or "roach.” 



Ethiopias of Guinea and to the Higher, as the most wealthy 
kingdoms of India arc called; in this we excel all other genera¬ 
tions. Because this work of ours began at the mouth of the 
western strait, where Pliny, Pomponius Mela and other writers 
began their cosmographical descriptions, we are following their 
order; our route thence to Angra dos Ruivos has been almost 
entirely coastwise, in order to preserve continuity of treatment. 
By this route, however, the journey to the said parts is long and 
circuitous; we must therefore describe the direct route which 
we are wont to take in all months of the year from this excellent 
city to the Ethiopias, which will be seen to be much shorter 
than following the sea-coast from the strait, as described above. 
After leaving this noble city of Lisbon you must steer SSW 
200 leagues, when your latitude will be 28° north. Then sailing 
S by W for 45 leagues from Ponta d’Andia 1 in the Isle of Forte 
Ventura, which is one of the seven islands of the Canaries, you 
will come to Angra dos Ruivos on the mainland, of which we 
have spoken in the preceding chapter. This bay is 25 0 north of 
the Equator. Three leagues out at sea from this bay there is fifty 
fathoms of water with a sandy bottom and plentiful fishing; 
from this place you will sail along the coast in search of Cabo 
Verde, as we will go on to show. 

Item. Angra dos Ruivos and Angra dos Cavallos* lie NNE 
and SSW and occupy twelve leagues; the name of the latter is 
derived from the fact that Prince Henry sent thither as captains 
Afonso Gonsalves Baldaya and the aforesaid Gilliannes with 
horsemen to capture some Moors; this place is difficult to find 
and can only be known from its place on the map. 

Item. Angra dos Cavallos and the Rio do Ouro lie NE by N 
and SW by S and occupy twelve leagues; this Rio do Ouro is 
24 0 north of the Equator. It can be identified by the three fairly 
high sand-hills on the NE, and by the fact that all the country 
from Angra dos Ruivos to Rio do Ouro along the coast is fairly 
high and flat, like a table; this is called Terra Alta—but the 

1 I.e. Jandia Point. 

* I.e. Caballo Bay, which was discovered in 1436 (1435* according to Barros, 
op. at. Decade I, book I, chap. 5). Zurara does not mention Gilliannes in this 



Arabs and Azenegues 1 * call it Hazara 3 . Here at the extremity of 
this high land which continues for nearly 30 leagues, there is a 
narrow strip of low land where the Rio do Ouro is situated. The 
landmarks, then, of the Rio do Ouro are its latitude of 24 0 north, 
the three hills of sand on the NE, and further, its situation on 
a strip of lowlying land at the end of the high land. If when you 
climb the ship’s mast and looking inland, you see a kind of lake, 
that is where the Rio do Ouro is. All this coast from Cabo do 
Bojador to Rio do Ouro and for more than a hundred leagues 
beyond is treeless, grassless and deserted, except that in a few 
villages of the interior twenty leagues from the sea dwell some 
Arabs and Azenegues. On all this coast there is an infinite 
amount of fish. He who wishes to enter this river should steer 
E by S along the land with the windward side on his left, and 
he will find three and a half fathoms and four at high tide, and 
the tide flows NE and SW; but let him beware of steering south 
on the right hand of the entrance to this river, for it is all shallow 
here. When he has ascended the river nearly a league to an 
island lying in it 3 , he will find good clean anchorage at three 
and a half fathoms. This river flows inland four or five leagues 4 5 , 
and there is no fresh water except in the months of August and 
September, when there are thunder-showers and fresh water may 
be found in pools. This river was discovered by Afonso Gonsalves 
Baldaya, knight of the household of Prince Henry and his 
cupbearer, and by Gilliannes, likewise his knight, who went 
thither as captains of his ships. In a raid they captured six noble 
Arabs 5 , who ransomed themselves for ten black slaves and a 

1 Barros tells us (op. cit. Decade I, book I, chap. 9) that these tribes 
inhabited the part of the Sahara that bordered on “the negroes of Jaloff, 
where begins the region of Guinea ”—i.e. the northern bank of the Senegal. 
Their language (vide Zurara, op. cit. chap. 31) was different from that of the 
Moors—it was Berber, not Arabic. 

1 This probably represents one of the many European attempts to reduce 
the Berber word for “ desert ” to writing. The more usual forms are Zahara, 
Sahar, Sahara, Sarra, Ssahhara. 

5 Herne Island? 

4 The River Ouro is merely a gulf: the illusion of a river is produced by 
the 20-milc-Iong peninsula (ending in Dumford Point) which forms the 
western side of the gulf. 

5 Zurara (op. cit. chap, io) speaks of their desire to capture some natives 
and of a skirmish with nineteen armed men in the Angra dos Cavallos, but 



little gold dust, and this gold was the first brought to the Prince 
from those parts, and the river was accordingly named Rio 
do Ouro 1 . 

Item. The Rio do Ouro and the Angra de Gon^alo dc Sintra 2 
lie N by E and S by W and occupy fourteen leagues of the route. 
For a landmark there are in the middle of the bay and rising 
above it three hills of sand 3 . Seawards the land terminates in 
a rocky cliff and the ship that would cast anchor here should 
first take soundings. The name of this bay is derived from 
Gon^alo de Sintra, a captain of one of the Prince’s ships, who 
was killed here by the Arabs 4 . He who does not wish to touch 
at this bay or at Cabo das Barbas but is bound for one of the 
rivers of Guinea should, on leaving the Rio do Ouro, make his 
course SSE for thirty leagues, to avoid Cabo das Barbas, which 
is very dangerous because of its many shallows, as we shall see. 

Item. Angra de Gonsalo de Sintra and Cabo das Barbas lie 
NE and SW and occupy sixteen leagues. This cape is very bad 
and dangerous, with great reefs of rock which run out into the 
sea five leagues or more, and which have caused the loss of 
shipping at times; the ship that enters the bay 5 within this cape 
can only save itself by steering WNW out to sea. This cape may 
be recognised by the two small islands in front of it and, on the 
land side, by its high cliffs; its distance north of the Equator 
is 2i£° 6 . He who leaves Rio do Ouro for Arguim or for one of 

says that" Baldaya went back to Portugal without the captives he had sought or 
any certain knowledge as to whether the natives he had met with were Moors 
or heathen, or as to what their manner of life was.” It was five years later, in 
1441, and under a different leader, one AntSo Gonsalves, that the ten blacka¬ 
moor slaves were brought back from the River Ouro (Zurara, op. cit. chaps. 12, 
13). It was only on AntSo Gonsalves’s second voyage that the first gold dust 
was obtained (Zurara, op. cit. chap. 16). 

1 Pacheco makes the same mistake as Zurara and Barros, for no gold is, 
or was, found in the vicinity of the gulf. Such amounts as were traded there, 
and at Arguim {vide infra, pp. 72-3) were brought by caravan from the interior 
(cf. Cadamosto, op. cit. chap. 10). 

2 I.e. Cintra Bay. 

3 I.e. the Cintra Hills, vide Africa Pilot, Part 1, p. 175. 

* In 1445, as the result of an ill-advised skirmish in which he and a handful 
of followers were hopelessly outnumbered by some 200 Moors. Vide Zurara, 
op. cit. chap. 27. 

5 I.e. St Cyprian Bay. 

6 Cape Barbas is 22 0 20' N. 



the rivers of Guinea should make his course SW for thirty 
leagues so as to double this Cabo das Barbas and its shallows, 
and then steer S by W for twenty-five leagues, when he will be 
opposite Cabo Branco, five or six leagues in the offing with the 
said Cabo Branco to the E; his distance north of the Equator 
will be 20° 20'. 

Item. Cabo das Barbas and Pedra da Gualee* lie NNE and 
SSW and occupy four leagues of the route; this Pedra da Gualee 
is about an arrow’s flight in length and was so called from its 
length and its shape, resembling that of a galley, when it was 
discovered by Afonso Baldaya, knight of the household of Prince 
Henry, and his cupbearer. This Pedra da Gualee was discovered 
in the year of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1436 1 2 . It may be known 
from its shape, unlike that of any other in all this country, and 
from the fact that it has some little islands of rock to the south 3 ; 
this Pedra da Gualee and the Cabo do Carvoeiro 4 5 lie NNE and 
SSW and occupy ten leagues of the route. 

Item. Cabo do Carvoeiro and Cabo Branco lie NNE and 
SSW and occupy sixteen leagues. Two leagues to this side of the 
cape is the Angra de Santa Maria 5 , with good anchorage and 
room for ten or twelve small vessels in eight and ten fathoms. 
For landmarks Cabo Branco lias a white hill, on a plateau, 
resembling a sand dune, the fact that the coast trends ESE here, 
there being no land visible to the south, and its latitude, which 
is 20 0 20' north 6 . Thus by its shape, the direction of the coast, 
and its latitude the cape may be easily recognised. Whoever 
leaves Rio do Ouro for Cabo Branco should make the voyage 
as indicated in the paragraph above, that is to say, by way of 
the Angra de Gon9alo de Sintra and Cabo das Barbas. 

1 I.e. Pedra de Galha of the Africa Pilot. " Seen from the northward, at 
a distance of about 9 miles, the rock looks like a vessel under sail” {ibid. p. 176). 

* Cf. Zurara, op. cit. chap. 10. Barros gives 1435 as the year of the dis¬ 

J I.e. Virginie Rock. 

4 I.e. Cape Corveiro, 2i°47' N. 

5 West Bay? 6 20° 46' N. actually. 

Chapter xxiv 

Concerning the routes and landmarks from 
Cabo Branco to Cabo Verde. 

Item. At Cabo Branco begin the shallows of Arguim x , which 
extend thirty leagues in length and twenty leagues in breadth. 
He who is making for one of the rivers of Guinea should, when 
opposite Cabo Branco, steer S by W for ten leagues and then 
sail a hundred leagues S by E, when he will reach Angra das 
Almadias 2 , which is seven leagues on this side of Cabo Verde; 
sailing thence SW he will reach the said cape. This course is 
necessary in order to sail outside the shallows of Arguim, which 
are very dangerous; when he is in sight of Cabo Branco he will 
see no land to the S or SSE but only to the ESE, which is the 
direction that the coast takes here. 

Item. Cabo Branco and the island of Arguim lie WNW and 
ESE and occupy ten leagues of the route, and on this part of the 
voyage there are some shallows of rock and sand and consequently 
care must be taken not to run aground. On the island of 
Arguing is a castle which the excellent King Afonso V ordered 
Soeyro Mendez d’Evora, one of his courtiers, to build there 
after the death of Prince Henry, the governorship of which 
castle he granted to him and his sons. The Arabs and Azenegues 4 
.. .gold.. .Arguim for barter and black slaves from Jalofo 5 and 

1 I.e. L£vrier Bay, vide Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 179. 

* Guet’n’dar, near mouth of Senegal River? 

s Discovered in 1443 by Diniz Dias and Nuno TristSo. Henry lost no 
time in fortifying it. Protected by Cape Branco, Arguim Island (one of three 
in the bay) was a convenient centre from which the neighbouring shores and 
the mainland could be explored. Having first made it the seat of local 
administration, the Navigator next made it the centre of all his African trade. 
The erection of the fort and factor)’ at Arguim in 1448 may be said to mark the 
beginning of a new phase in Portuguese maritime policy. Henceforth, in 
addition to being crusaders, the Portuguese became pioneers of trade, both 
for its own sake and as a means to the conversion of the negro. The island 
is now uninhabited, but the remains of the old fort can still be seen. 

4 This lacuna appears to require only the words "bring” and "to” to 
complete the sense. 

5 Cf. Barros, Asia, Decade r, book 1, chap. 9. Pory (Introduction to Leo 
Africanus’ History of Africa, p. 83, Hakluyt Society) describes them as being 



Mandingua 1 ; also tapir hides for shields and gum arabic and 
other things; and from Arguim they take back cheap red and 
blue cloths, coarse kerchiefs and shawls which are made in 
Alentejo, and other articles of the same sort 3 . 

Chapter xxv 

Concerning the desert of Arguim and the places beyond. 

All the country from Cabo do Bojador to Arguim and fifty 
leagues beyond is practically desert, being very thinly populated 
along the sea and in the interior; the reason is that it is all sand 
and has very little water. The width of this desert is nearly 
200 leagues, and its length runs through the whole of Africa for 
900 leagues or more in an easterly direction till it reaches the 
other sea where the Ethiopians dwell under Egypt near Cabo de 
Guardafune, at the entrance of the Straits of Mequa on the 
borders of Arabia, which straits join the Red Sea. Arguim and 
Cabo de Guardafune are on the same parallel of latitude 3 , 
namely 24 0 north, and the country of Arguim and Guardafune 

“ the most northerly [of the negro peoples] who spread themselves between 
the two foresaid rivers [Gambia and Senegal] for the space of 500 leagues 
eastward.” In contemporary maps the name first appears (in the form of 
“jafo ”) in the Genoese Planisphere of 144(5)7, alongside a prominent river 
(the Senegal?) of the West African littoral. On the ethnography of this 
region vide M. Delafosse, The Negroes of Africa, p. 95. 

1 I.e. the kingdom of Melli (or Mali) which was such a popular subject 
with the later mediseval map makers, c.g. Catalan Atlas, c. 1375. According 
to recent researches (vide Charles de la Rondire, La Dicouverle de TAfrique 
au Moyen Age, vol. I, pp. 90 et seq.) the capital of the Mandinga kingdom was 
situated on the left bank of the Sankarani near its confluence with the Niger, 
i.e. in the vicinity of the gold-bearing region of Bambouk and Bour6 (Wan- 

’ For a fuller account of the early trade of Arguim vide Cadamosto, op. cit. 
chap. xo. 

5 Pacheco’s figures for the size of the Sahara are more correct than his 
latitudes, for Arguim and Cape Guardafui are not on the same parallel and 
neither of them is 24 0 N. (Pacheco is obviously guilty of a lapse here, for in 
chap. 23 he places Cape Blanco 20° 20' N. and in this chapter says that it is 
only 10 leagues away.) Arguim Island is approximately 21 0 N., Cape 
Guardafui X2° N. 



arc alike mostly desert and sand. In this desert dwell some 
naked savages who live on gazelles, which they net, and hares 
and snakes, whose flesh they dry in the sun; the name of the 
desert is Hazara 1 , and its inhabitants speak the language of the 
Azenegues and follow the mistaken sect of Mahomet. It is 
marvellous how great Nature provides for all necessities of life 
for this desert of sand, which is impelled by the force of the 
winds, for it has some islands of rock with some soil, 3 and 
4 leagues apart, and some others farther apart, which are too 
high to be submerged by the sand, and these are the landmarks 
and refuges for the Moors who.. .* across it, and for the savage 
people who live there. 

Item. After travelling from Arguim thirty leagues in an 
easterly direction, you come to a small lake called Ydamem 3 
where water is to be found at all seasons of the year, and there 
the Moors who go with merchandise from Arguim and other 
parts stay and rest and water their camels and take in water for 
their journey. Four leagues SE of this lake is another lake called 
Emsery. In this desert there are some salt-pits from which very 
much salt of a fine quality is extracted in the following manner: 
at certain points they dig the earth and at a depth of a “ covado 4 ” 
they find a vein like a board a league long or more, but some¬ 
times less, and three inches thick. This they cut in pieces six 
“palmosS” long and three wide, and a large camel can carry 
five of these pieces. The salt is very good and white; I saw some 
of it, which had been brought from Arguim, in the Casa da Mina 
at Lisbon, the house of the Guinea trade. The Arabs take many 
camels laden with this salt from the desert to the fair of Tam- 
bucutu, where they receive much gold for it. 

1 Vide supra, p. 69 note. 

* The slight lacuna at this point appears to need only the insertion of some 
such words as “journey" or "make their way." 

5 This lake and the following one (Emsery) are probably to be identified 
with the “salines " of the Tcgazza (or TegMza) region. Vide 'Leo Africanus, 
op. cit. book VI, pp. 800 et seq.\ Cadamosto, op. cit. pp. 45 et seq. Until 
recently several places, approximately in this locality, were carrying on a salt 
trade with the Sudan. Aruan and Tadeni in particular were doing a large 
business in that commodity down to the end of the last century. Vide 
F. Dubois, Tombouctou la MystMeuse, p. 385. 

4 A Portuguese measure containing three-quarters of a yard of a Flemish ell. 

5 A “palmo” equals one-third of a “covado." 



Item. About forty leagues to the SE of Lake Ydamem is a 
town, inhabited by Azenegues, called Audem 1 * ; it contains about 
300 inhabitants, brown in colour and belonging to the excom¬ 
municated sect of Mahomet. They are called Ezarziguy. In this 
town of Audem there is a great traffic in gold, which is brought 
overland from Guinea; it was even greater before the mine 3 and 
other rivers of Guinea were discovered. The late King John II 
had a certain Rodrigo Reined, his squire, there as factor, but 
these bad Azenegues treated him so cruelly that he must needs 
return to Portugal; indeed he only escaped from them with great 
difficulty and personal risk and loss. Fifteen to twenty leagues 
from Audem are three villages inhabited by Azenegues, by name 
Singuyty, Tynyguuhy and Marzy, in all of which there is traffic 
in gold from Guinea. All this people is subject to a race of 
Arabs called Ludea 4 5 ; they live on dates and a little wheat which 
they sow in the palmwoods, and on the flesh of goats and sheep. 
Of this country the ancient writers never knew what we know 
now, and great would have been their delight had they known it. 
Arguim was discovered by Antam Gonialvez 5 , a knight of the 
household of Prince Henry, who rewarded him for this sendee 
with the governorship of the town of Thomar and with the 
habit of the Order of Christ. 

1 I.e. Oadem (Zurara, op. cit. chap. 76) or Hoden (Cadamosto, op. cit. 
pp. 44 et seq.) or Guaden (Leo, op. cit. book I, p. 147). The exact location of 
this town has never been settled. R. Brown (vide Leo Africanus, op. cit. 
p. 116) is inclined to place it on the plateau of El Hodh, due west of Tim¬ 
buktu, on which is Walata (or Oualata)—a suggestion that is supported by a 
statement of Leo’s (op. cit. p. 147). On the trade of Audem vide Cadamosto 
(op. cit.) and A. Arcin, Histoire de la Guirtie frartfaise, p. 52. 

1 I.e. S. Jorze da Mina. 

3 In 1487. Until then the Portuguese had confined their main activities 
to coastwise exploration and trade. This “factory” was established under the 
authority of the great Lamtouna chief, Soni Ali. The trade was conducted 
through the entrepOt of Arguim. 

4 I.e. the Udaya (or Oudaia) tribe of Duihessen Arabs. Leo calls them 
“ the people of Vode [who] enjoyeth that desert which is situated between 
Guaden and Gualata. They bear rule over the Guadenites (i.e. the people of 
Audem] and of the Duke of Gualata they receive yearly tribute and their 
number is grown almost infinite” (op. cit. book 1, pp. 146 et seq.). 

5 The credit for this discovery is usually given to Nuno Tristio, who 
followed up Gon9alvez’s slave-raiding expedition of 1443* 


Chapter xxvi 

Concerning the route from Arguim to Rio de (fanagua 1 
and on to Cabo Verde along the bay. 

In order to avoid prolixity and to follow the course along the 
coast from Arguim, we omit many things concerning the desert 
of Arguim and the mountains of Bafoor, where men eat one 
another 3 , and concerning other places and things of note. 

Item. The island of Arguim (and the Rio de Sam Joham 3 ) 
lie NW and SE and occupy seventeen leagues of the route: 
from the Rio de Sam Joham to Ponta Tofia 4 is seven leagues 5 ;... 
and from this Furna to Cabo da Area 4 is fifteen leagues, and 
from Cabo da Area to Anterrote 4 is twelve leagues. From 
Anterrote to the palms of Qanagui 6 is twenty leagues, and these 
palms are on the windward of the Rio de Qanagud to the NE. 
All this coast from the Rio de Sam Joham to the palms lies 

* I.e. River Senegal. 

1 In the Middle Ages (and earlier) the Sudanese fringe of the Sahara was 
inhabited by sedentary folk. These were in all probability negroes “more or 
less mixed with Negrillos and white autochthones of North Africa. Together 
they formed a group, fairly disparate perhaps in certain respects, which 
Moorish traditions generally designate by the term Bafur; from them, 
doubtless, have gone forth, by ramification, the Songhoy or Songai towards 
the east, the Serers towards the west and, towards the centre, a great people 
called Gangara by the Moors, Wangara by Arab authors and writers of 
Timbuktu, and comprising in our day as its principal divisions the Mandinga, 
properly speaking, or the Malinki, the Bambara and the Jula ” (M. Delafosse, 
The Negroes of Africa, p. 45). Pacheco’s “mountains of Bafoor,” therefore, 
are obviously the Fouta Djallon Mountains (the “ Albafur ” of Diogo Gomes, 
vide E. Prestage, op. cit. p. 131). Now to the southeast of the Fouta Djallon, 
in the forest belt, there are located many very primitive negro tribes who, 
until very recently, were given to cannibalism (Delafosse, op. cit. pp. 97 et seq.). 

J I.e. St John Bay, between Thila peninsula and Cape Timiris; it penetrates 
inland for some 17 miles. There is no river until you come to the Senegal. 

4 The whole of this stretch of coast is indented by numerous bights and 
rocky points which cannot certainly be identified with any of these names. 

5 There is an obvious lacuna here. The “Furna” referred to is apparently 
Fuma de S. Ana, which appears on a number of contemporary maps between 
Ponta Tofia and Cabo da Area, or Area (vide " Guinea Portugalec ” portolan 
chart, c. 1489—Egcrton MS. 73 and Juan de la Cosa world map, 1500). 

6 The position of these palms is marked on nearly all the portolan charts 
of the period. On an otherwise barren stretch of coast, they provided an 
admirable landmark. Cf. Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 187. 



north and south, and the country is all covered with sand an’d 
very low and dangerous, with many shallows of rock and sand 
which make navigation difficult. This route is out of the course 
for ships making for Rio de Qanagud and Cabo Verde and other 
parts of Guinea, for it forms a very large bay (which includes 
the shallows of Arguim) extending for over thirty leagues. No 
ship making for the £anagu£ should enter this bay, but from 
Cabo Branco should steer straight for this river and the other 
parts beyond it. 

Item. A ship near Cabo Branco wishing to go to the Rio de 
£anagu& must sail ten leagues S by W, to avoid the shallows of 
Arguim, then sail twenty leagues due south, and the Rio de 
Managua will be 60 leagues to the SW of it. Taking this course 
it will sail outside the shallows of Arguim, as we have said, and 
will anchor at the palms three leagues on this side of the said 
river, which is distant from the Equator 15 0 25' N 1 . The bar 
and channel of this river are liable to change and the entrance 
to it is uncertain; we will therefore only say that a ship entering 
it should take soundings at the bar, and find that the tide flows 
NYV and SE, contrary to the flow of the tides in Spain 3 . Above 
the mouth of this river to the NE is a wood which is called the 
forest of Chalam 3 , and at its mouth are shallows which run out 
into the sea a league or more. In the months of July, August, 
September and October this river carries down much fresh water 
from the hills, for it is then winter in this country and there is 
much rain 4 . The pilot who would enter this river should be 
careful to make for land ten or twelve leagues on this side of it 
and if it be night should anchor there and proceed by day, for 
this land is very low and difficult to recognise 5 ; its only means 
of recognition are the forest of Chalam and its latitude of 
15 0 25' north. From the mouth of this river the coast runs NE 

* Actually 16 0 N. * VuU Introduction, pp. xxvi, xxvii. 

3 Sohr Wood? (vide Africa Pilot , Part I, p. 188). 

* There are two seasons on the Senegal coast: the dry and the wet. The 
dry season begins, according to locality, in November or December and lasts 
until the end of May or even later. The peak rainy months are those Pacheco 
enumerates. But the rainy season is far from being the cold season or " winter 
as Pacheco calls it. In fact September is the hottest month on the coast and 
has a mean temperature of 82° F. I 

5 Cf. Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 190. 


and SW to Cabo Verde; the natives call this river Encalhor and 
the country near it Managua and the kingdom Jalofo. In our 
time you could buy ten or twelve negroes here for one poor 
horse, but owing to the abuses of this trade you can now obtain 
only six; it was also possible to barter a little gold for kerchiefs 
and red cloths and other articles. At the bidding of the virtuous 
Prince Henry, Denis Diaz, a knight of the household of King 
John his father, and Lan9arote de Freytas, knights and captains 
of the prince, discovered this river 1 ; and when this Rio de 
Qanagud was first discovered and made known, the Prince stated 
that it was a branch of the Nile which runs west through 
Ethiopia, and this was the truth. At the time when the bartering 
was good four hundred slaves were obtained yearly from this 
river (but sometimes less by half) in return for horses and other 

Chapter xxvii 

Concerning the source and character of the Rio de 
Qanagud and of the two Ethiopias \ 

Since we have spoken of this Rio de Qanagud, it is fitting that 
we should say something of the interior of the country. First 
we must note that the Ethiopians and black men begin here^; 
and since there are two Ethiopias, it is well to state that this 
first Ethiopia is called Lower, or Low, Western Ethiopia, and it 
is well known that none ever died of pestilence in it. Not only 
did it receive this privilege from the Majesty of great Nature, 
but we know by experience that none of the ships’ crew's making 

1 Zurara makes no mention of Lan5arote de Freytas on this voyage (1445). 
On a subsequent voyage he speaks of a certain Alvaro de Freytas who, along 
with LanfarotePessanha, followed the coast down to the Senegal and beyond. 
From the context it is dear that de Freytas was not present on Denis Diaz’s 
voyage. Further, Zurara nowhere speaks of a Lanfarote de Freytas: in view 
of the dose association of Lan9arote Pcssanha and Alvaro de Freytas, it may 
be that Pacheco has confused the two names. 

* Vide Appendix No. 1. 

s This is substantially true: Moors and Berbers inhabit the northern bank, 
the Jalofs (i.e. negroes) the southern bank of the Senegal. 


this voyage die of the plague in this climate, although they may 
have sailed from a plague-stricken Lisbon, and although on this 
voyage some have sickened and died, as soon as they [i.e. the 
survivors] reach Ethiopia they are immune. This first Ethiopia ex¬ 
tends along the coast from Rio de £anagud to Cabo de Boa Esper- 
an9a in 34 0 30' south. The distance from that river to the cape is 
1,340 leagues. This country is also known to us as Guinea; and it 
seems to us [i.e. me] that in this promontory of Boa Esperan^a the 
coast of Africa ends, turning back from this cape to the mine of 
(^ofala 1 * and thence to Monsombique and Quiloa and the cities of 
Momba9a, Melinde, Patte*, Lama 3 , Haranha 4 5 and Maguadaxo 5 , 
a populous city, and many other places along this coast to Cabo 
de Guardafune at the entrance of the Arabian Gulf and the 
Gulf of Mequa which communicates with the Red Sea. The 
coast from the Cabo de Boa Esperan9a to Cabo de Guardafune 
was, by ancient writers, called Ethiopia under Egypt and its 
length is 1,060 leagues; so that the whole of Lower Ethiopia has 
a coastline of 2,400 leagues, namely 1,340 from Managua to Boa 
Esperanfa and 1,060 from there to Guardafune, all of which 
have been navigated by men of Portuguese race, besides the 
further leagues of India. The inhabitants of these Ethiopias are 
black, with short curly hair like the frieze of a cloth. 

Upper Ethiopia begins at Rio Indo beyond the great kingdom 
of Persia; it was from this river that India derived its name. Its 
sea coast extends.. .leagues; its inhabitants are black but not so 
black as those of Lower Ethiopia, their hair is smooth and long 
like that of white men. 

Thus the first black men are found at the Rio de Qanagud. 
This river is the beginning of the kingdom of Jalofo 6 , which 
extends nearly a hundred leagues in length and forty in breadth; 
on the north the Rio de Qanagud divides it from the Azenegues; 
on the south it borders Mandingua and on the east the kingdom 

1 Vide supra, p. 4, note. 

* I.e. Patta Isle, z° S., off the coast of Kenya. 

s I.e. Lamu Isle, to the south of Patta. 

* Text corrupt: in all probability it is to be identified with the Brava of 
Duarte Barbosa (op. cit. vol. 1, chap. 16). 

5 I.e. Mogadishu, 2$° N. in Italian Somaliland. 

6 Cf. Cadamosto, op. cit. p. 74. 



of Tucurol 1 * . The coast of Jalofo extends for fifty-five leagues, 
namely 25 leagues from Rio de £anagud to Cabo Verde and 
30 leagues from Cabo Verde to Rio de Guambea, and this river 
divides Mandingua from Jalofo. The King of Jalofo can put 
10,000 horsemen into the field and 100,000 footmen; they are 
all naked except the nobles and honourable men, who wear blue 
cotton shirts and drawers of the same stuff. These peoples, as 
those of the great kingdom of Mandingua and of Tucurol and 
other negroes, are all circumcised and worship in the false sect 
of Mahomet. They are given to vice and are rarely at peace with 
one another, and are very great thieves and liars, great drunkards 
and very ungrateful and shameless in their perpetual begging. 

All these peoples and others who dwell near them are ignorant 
of the source of the Rio de Qanagud, which is so large and deep 
that they call it Rio Negro. Many intelligent Ethiopians who 
know different provinces and countries for five hundred leagues 
up this river have told us that its source is unknown; but from 
its course and beginnings we know that it rises in a great lake 
of the river Nile thirty leagues long and ten broad, so that it 
seems that this is the branch which the Nile throws out through 
Ethiopia in a westerly direction, the other branch flowing north 
and disemboguing by four mouths in the sea of Egypt, as we 
have stated in the fifth chapter of this book. At the head of this 
lake is a kingdom called Tambucutu 3 , which has a large city of 
the same name on the edge of the lake. There also is the city of 
Jany 3 , inhabited by negroes and surrounded by a stone wall. 

1 I.e. Tacrour of Edrisi, the Tocoror of the Valscccha and other Catalan 

* In this part of its course the Niger has braided its channel and in periods 
of flood water inundates a very large area of its flood plain. In addition several 
large permanent swamps dot the riverine territory south of Timbuktu for 
150 miles to the confluence of the Niger and the Bani. During the summer 
floods it would be no exaggeration to describe this area as a great lake “ thirty 
leagues long and ten broad.” 

3 I.e. Jenn£ (alternatively Gcnn6, Genna, Jinnie), the modem Dicnn£, 
which is located on a tributary of the Niger—the Bani—some iso miles 
southsouthwest of Timbuktu at the southern extremity of the great flood 
area, i.e. “on the edge of the lake.” Its importance was derived largely from 
the fact that it was the outlet for the gold-mining area of Melli and of the 
Bobo and Lobi country. As access to the town was, in summer, only possible 
by water, or by a very circuitous land route skirting the inundated country. 



where there is great wealth of gold; tin and copper are greatly 
prized there, likewise red and blue cloths and salt, all except the 
cloths being sold by weight; also greatly prized here are cloves, 
pepper and saffron, and fine thin silk and sugar. The commerce 
of this land is very great, and in the above-mentioned places 
and in Cooro 1 as well, fairs are held; every year a million gold 
ducats go from this country to Tunis, Tripoli of Soria 3 and 
Tripoli of Berbery and to the kingdom of Boje 3 and Feez and 
other parts. This Rio de £anagud would be navigable for small 
vessels were it not for a great rock a little over 250 leagues from 
its mouth before one arrives at Tambucutu and the other towns. 
This rock is called Feleuu 4 and it runs across the river so that 
no ship or boat can pass, as the water pours over it in a cataract. 
The ships of your Highness ascend this river only so far as the 
kingdom of Tucurol, which the tide reaches sixty leagues from 
the mouth and bar of the river 5 . There six or seven slaves are 
bartered for one horse of no great value, and some gold in return 
for kerchiefs and red cloths and stones called “alaquequas,” 
which we are familiar with as stones that staunch blood 6 . In 

it is not difficult to see how the belief that it was on a lake and the centre of a 
gold-producing region originated. Judging from the context of a letter 
written by a certain Antonio Malfante from Touat in the Sudan in 1447 Jennd 
must have ranked in importance with Melli and Timbuktu. (Vide Charles de la 
Roncifcre, Relation de Voyage datie du Touat.. .en 1447..., p. 29.) John Pory 
(op. at. p. 79) called " Genni” the chief city of the country of Guinea, which, 
he says, takes its name from the city. According to him it was situated on the 
Senegal River. 

1 I.e. Koro, near the headwaters of the Sankanni River, in the Ivory Coast 

1 The old Italian form of Syria. 

* I.e. the modem Bugia or Bougie, now part of Algeria. 

4 I.e. Felu Falls, near the modem town of Kayes some 500 miles upstream. 
Vide Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 189 (cf. John Pory, op. cit. p. 81). 

5 Cf. Africa Pilot, Part 1, p. 192: “ During the period of low river, December 
to June, tidal influence is said to extend to Diould6 Diab£, 238 miles above 
St. Louis.” 

‘ I.e. bloodstone. Cf. Richard Jobson (Purchas' Pilgrims, vol. tx, p. 300, 
Maclehose edition): “ they [i.e. the natives of the Gambia River] buy blood¬ 
stones, long and square, of the Portugals, which their women wear about 
their middles, to preserve them from bloody issues..The idea that red 
stones will staunch the flow of blood if laid upon the open wound was still 
cherished by the people of Albania at the end of the nineteenth century. 
Vide J. G. Fraser, The Magic Art, vol. 1, p. 165. 





this country there are very large snakes 1 , twenty feet long and 
more and very thick. There are other snakes a quarter of a league 
long, with thickness, eyes, mouth and teeth in proportion; there 
are very few of these this size, but when they reach the size 
I mentioned their instinct is to leave their native lakes and make 
for the sea. On their way thither they work much damage, and 
multitudes of birds fall upon them and pick at their flesh, which 
is of an incredible softness, and when they reach the sea they 
dissolve in the water. These snakes are rarely seen, once in every 
ten years or so, and will seem incredible to those who have not 
our experience of these things*. There are also in this river very 
large lizards, many of them twenty-two feet long, and their 
mouths are so large that they can easily swallow a man*. Here 
also there is a wood called “balamban”; its surface is white but 
inside it is as black as a buffalo’s horn and as hard as bone; 
many articles are made from this in this kingdom, and as a 
powder in water it is very good for coughs 4 . This river is rife 
with fever; the winter in this land lasts from the middle of 
July to the 15th of October*. We will omit much else concerning 
Rio de £anagu£ in order to avoid prolixity. 

‘ I.e. Pythons. Cf. De Bry (Pur dun' Pilgrims, vol. vi, p. 324, Maclehose 
edition): "There was one in my time taken there [i.e. Cape Verde region] as 
the negroes told me, which was 30 feet long and as much as 6 men could 
carry.” The largest species of African python —Python sebae —commonly 
attains a length of 20-24 ft. and is native to Senegambia. Vide F. Angel, 
Lei Serpents de VAfrique Occidental Frarifaise, pp. 60-1. 

* Vide Appendix No. 2. 

J I.e. cro<»diles. Cf. Leo Africanus, op. cit. book ix, pp. 950 et seq. 

4 I.e. ebony. The Encyclopedia Britamtica (nth edition) in speaking of 
the best type of Indian ebony says that" the bark of the tree is astringent and 
mixed with pepper is used in dysentery by the natives of India.” Pliny in his 
Natural History, book xxiv, chap. 52, informs us that the root of the ebony 
tree, when applied with water and with the addition of the root of the oleander 
in equal proportions and of honey, "is curative of cough.” 

* Vide p. 77 note. 


Chapter xxviii 

Concerning the route from Rio de Managua to Cabo Verde , 
and the islands which lie a hundred leagues out at sea from 
this cape . 

Item. Rio de Qanagud and Cabo Verde lie NE and SW and 
occupy twenty-five leagues of the route. The latitude of this 
cape is 14° 20' north 1 . From the point of this cape a great bank 
of rock runs out into the sea for half a league, and a ship would 
do well not to approach too close to the front of it. Inside the 
cape on the SE are three islets*; one of them is at the mouth 
of a large harbour which is called Angra de Bezeguiche 5 , as is 
shown in our drawing, which we have painted from sight. Inside 
this bay is anchorage for forty or fifty small vessels in five and 
six and up to eight fathoms on a clean bottom. Outside the 
island of Palma 4 any number of large ships can anchor at fifteen 
and sixteen fathoms on a sandy bottom, half a league from this 
island which will lie to the N by W of them: they should be 
firmly anchored because in August, September and October in 
this country there are great windstorms accompanied by 
thunder 5 , this being the winter-time. It is possible to take in 
water, wood and meat here, but only with the goodwill of the 
natives, otherwise the crews will suffer injury. Aqui mapa. 

Having described Cabo Verde and how that, in ancient times, 
it was called the Promontory of the Hesperides, we must also 
describe the islands which lie a hundred leagues out to sea and 

1 Actually 14° 33' N. 

J I.e. Madeleine Islets. Actually they are four in number. 

i I.e. Gor6e Bay. Bezeguiche was the name of the lord of that land with 
whom Diogo Gomes had dealings on his voyage of 1456(8?). He described 
him as "malignant against the Christians”—a characteristic that still seems 
to have been applicable in Pacheco’s day. 

4 I.e. Gor6e Isle. 

5 Africa Pilot, Part 1, p. 198, speaks of Gor<e Bay as being "well sheltered, 
except during the rainy season, when the tornadoes which blow from the 
eastward and southward quickly raise a choppy sea”; but these tornadoes 
are neither so frequent nor so violent as those experienced farther to the 


8 4 


were, of old, known as the Hcsperides, as Pliny tells us in the 
thirty-first chapter of the sixth book of his Natural History 1 . 
We now call the principal island of this group the Isle of Sam 
Thiago; in all, there are ten islands besides two large islets*. 
For a clearer understanding we have given here a painting of 
these islands with their shape and their position in relation to 
one another and to Cabo Verde. 

Item. The Isle of Sam Thiago and Cabo Verde lie W by N 
and E by S, and occupy a hundred leagues of the route; since 
our drawing is clear and gives the winds and routes and relative 
position of these islands we will not put it in writing. We need 
only say that the largest island, namely Sam Thiago, is 15 0 20' 
north of the Equator 3 , and the island of Boa Vista 15° 50'. The 
islands of Sam Nicolao, Sant’ Antonio, Santa Luzia and Sam 
Vincente are all at 16 0 40' north; as for the islands of Foguo and 
Braba* and Mayo it is unnecessary to give their latitudes. From 
Sam Thiago and the other islands come yearly to Portugal many 
skins of goats and hides of cattle and many fats and fairly fine 
cottons. Fruit only grows in this land if artificially watered, for 
it only rains in three months of the year, August, September and 
October. Owing to its latitude the inhabitants have two summer 
solstices in the year: on the 22nd of April, when the sun is in 
the nth degree of the sign of Taurus 3 , with a declination of 
15 0 12', and when it is immediately above the heads of the 
inhabitants of these islands, more especially of Sam Thiago; and 
on the 3rd of August, when the sun is in the 9th degree of the 
sign of Leo 6 , before reaching the autumn equinox, and is 90° 

* Cf. J. Pory, Op. dt. p. 97. The Cape Verde Isles were certainly not known 
in antiquity. The Hesperides are most probably to be identified either with 
the Canaries or the Madeiras. 

1 There are four such islets. 

1 This is the latitude of the most northerly point in the island. 

4 I.e. Brava. 

5 In the technical sense of the word the twelve signs of the Zodiac are 
geometrical divisions of the heavens 30° in extent, the sun spending approxi¬ 
mately 30 days in each sign, i.e. approximately 1 day in each degree of each 
sign during the course of the year. At the moment of crossing the equator 
(xx March according to Pacheco's reckoning, vide chap. 9), the sun is at the 
first point of Aries. Thirty-one days later, i.e. 11 April, it enters Taurus. 
On 22 April, therefore, the sun will be in the nth degree of Taurus, as 
Pacheco says. 

‘ Following Pacheco the sun will enter Leo on 13 July. It will be in the 
21st degree of the sign, not the 9th, on 3 August. 



above the horizon, that is, immediately above the heads of the 
inhabitants of Sam Thiago, with a declination of 15 0 12’. 
Although on these days the sun’s rays are so near them, they 
bear it well. These islands are unproductive 1 , being close to the 
tropic of Cancer; they have very few trees, owing to the lack of 
rain in all but the three aforesaid months. The land is elevated, 
rocky and difficult of access. These islands were discovered and 
peopled at the bidding of the virtuous Prince Henry*. And now 
we will return to Cabo Verde and describe the coast in due 

Item. From Cabo Verde to [Porto] d’Andam is six leagues 
and this Porto d’Andam 3 has red cliffs. There was formerly 
good barter of slaves for horses here, ten slaves for one horse of 
little worth, but it is now abandoned. From Porto d’Andam to 
Cabo dos Mastos 4 is two leagues; this cape has bare red cliffs, 
treeless and higher and larger than those of Porto d’Andam. In 
the sea off this cape in thirty to forty fathoms there is plentiful 
fishing of pargos 3 , badejos 6 and other fish. From Cabo dos 
Mastos to Porto d’AIe is two leagues?; this Porto d’AJe has a 
beach and a wood of large, serried trees in a low valley resembling 
a marsh, and these trees are many more in number than those 
of any other grove. In front of this wood there is anchorage for 
small vessels in four fathoms on a clean bottom of gravel and 
coarse sand about half a league from land; but a large ship must 
anchor in twelve fathoms on a clean bottom of mud a good 
league from land. Small vessels anchoring at four fathoms in 
front of this wood must, however, beware of a rocky shallow 
located to the windward of this anchorage towards the west; it 
runs out to sea nearly half a league and is only visible when the 
water breaks on it. This Porto d’Ale is situated very close to the 
wood. There used to be a very good market for slaves at this 
place, ten slaves could be had for a horse, but now owing to the 

1 Cf. J. Pory, op. cit. p. 98. 

* On the vexed question of the actual discovery of the Cape Verde Isles, 
t tide E. Prestage, op. cit. pp. 141 et seq. ; also S. Barcellos, Subsidios para a 
historia de Cabo Verde e Gitini, vol. I, chap. x. 

3 I.e. Red Cape, 14 0 38' N. 

4 I.e. Cape Naze, vide Africa Pilot, Part I, pp. 201-2. 

5 I.e. sea-bream, a variety of gilt-head. 

6 A species of cod. 

7 I.e. Portudal Anchorage, 14 0 27' N. Vide Africa Pilot, Part 1, p. 202. 



abuses committed in this barter, they will only give six 1 . Here 
one can buy much meat and maize and beans and water, but 
not without the goodwill of the natives. This coast is very low 
and difficult to recognise and in order to do so one must sail 
along the shore, which is very woody. From Cabo Verde to 
Porto d’Ale is ten leagues; they lie E and W and are in the same 
parallel, 14 0 20' north of the equator. The depth of winter [sic] 
in this country is in the month of August. 

Item. Porto d’Ale and Rio dos Barbaciis* lie E and W and 
occupy five leagues of the route; this river has many rocks and 
shallows running into the sea for two leagues and more to the 
NW and for a league and a half to the south, all sand. The 
landmark of this river is a thick wood along the bank at its 
mouth, at the northern extremity of its shallows; he who enters 
this river should for greater safety take soundings at its bar to 
find the deepest passage, for the channel changes, and entering 
straight in the deepest part he will find a fathom and a half at 
low tide—the tide running NW and SE, and two fathoms at full. 
To the north on his left he will see a tall tree of great girth and 
at its foot are many springs of fresh water where one can take 
in water in abundance; this river may be ascended twenty 
leagues 3 . For a poor horse you can receive here six or seven 
slaves, but the captain who is engaged in this barter should 
guard against these negroes for they are bad people. The latitude 
of this river is 14 0 15' north of the equator 4 . 

1 Cf. Cadamosto, op. cit. pp. 116-17. 

1 I.c. Salum River. It was originally named after the Barbacini, a negro 
people whom Cadamosto and Usodimare discovered in 1455. 

5 Cf. Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 204. 

* Actually 13*50' N. 


Chapter xxix 

Concerning the routes and landmarks from Rio 
dos Barbaciis to Rio de Guambea. 

Item. By standing four leagues out to sea and sailing 15 
leagues SE from Rio dos Barbaciis, you will come to the mouth 
of Rio de Guambea. The country from the Barbaciis to the 
Guambea is very low and woody, and the sea has many rocks 
and sand shallows and at ten fathoms one is four leagues from 
land and cannot see it owing to its lowness. This country, 
extending to the said Rio de Guambea, is called Gibandor 1 ; it 
has a very large bay which on the SE forms a point running far 
into the sea 2 . On this point there is a very large palm forest 
which covers two leagues or more, and out at sea a league from 
this point is a shallow of rock and sand which is called the 
shallow of Santa Maria 3 , with not more than a fathom of water 
over it; it is very dangerous and some ships have been wrecked 
there. This river is 13 0 5' north of the equator. High tide flows 
NW and SE 4 . Half a league to the N of this palm forest is the 
mouth of the river at the present time, and he who enters it must 
sail E by S and in the deepest part he will find two and a half 
fathoms at low tide and three and a half at full; and it is note¬ 
worthy that the tide flows with such force in this river that it 
runs up it 180 leagues and more 5 . 150 leagues from its mouth 
is a district called Cantor 6 , where there are four towns, the 
principal of which is called Sutucoo and has some four thousand 
inhabitants; the names of the other three are Jalancoo, Dobancoo 

1 Jubandor in SerrSo Pimentel. Arte Practica de navegar, p. 254 (1681). 
According to Richard Jobson (Purchas’ Pilgrims, book ix, chap. 13, para. 1, 
Maclehose edition), the River Gambia was called by the natives "Gee, a 
general name in their language for all rivers and waters....** Gibandor 
probably signifies "land of rivers.’' 

* I.e. Bald Cape. 

5 It is still called St Mary Shoal, vide Africa Pilot, Part 1, p. 209. 

4 Vide Introduction, pp. xxvi et seq. 

5 According to the Africa Pilot, Part :, p. 21 r, the tidal influence extends 
only as far as Yarbutenda, 250 miles from the mouth. 

6 Cf. John Pory, op. cit. p. 81, and Diogo Gomes, "Die Handelsverbind- 
ungen der Portugiesen mit Timbuktu im XV. Jahrhunderte,” by F. Kunst- 
mann in the Abhandlungen der III. Classe der K. Bayerischen Akademie der 
Wissenschaften, VI. Band, 1850, p. 27. 



and Jamnamsura; they are all enclosed 1 with wooden palisades 
and are distant from the river half a league, a league and a league 
and a half. At Sutucoo* is held a great fair, to which the 
Mandinguas bring many asses; these same Mandinguas, when 
the country is at peace and there are no wars, come to our ships 
(which at the bidding of our prince visit these parts) and buy 
common red, blue and green cloth, kerchiefs, thin coloured 
silk, brass bracelets, caps, hats, the stones called “ alaquequas 5 ” 
and much more merchandise, so that in time of peace, as we 
have said, five and six thousand doubloons of good gold are 
brought thence to Portugal. Sutucoo and these other towns 
belong to the kingdom of Jalofo, but being on the frontier of 
Mandingua they speak the language of Mandingua. This Rio 
de Guambea divides the kingdom of Jalofo from the great 
kingdom of Mandingua 4 , which in the language [of the Man¬ 
dinguas? 5 ] is called “Encalhor,” as I have said above; Rio de 
Guambea itself is called in the Mandingua tongue “Guabuu.” 
When ascending the Guabuu the kingdom of Jalofo is on the 
N and that of Mandingua on the S, extending nearly 200 leagues 
in length and eighty in breadth. The king of Mandingua can 
put into the field twenty thousand horsemen, and infantry with¬ 
out number 6 for they take as many wives as they choose; when 

* Text corrupt. 

* Richard Jobson’s “ Setico” ( vide Purchas' Pilgrims, vol. ix, pp. 289 et seq., 

Maclchosc edition). 5 I.e. bloodstones. 

4 At the beginning of the fifteenth century two great empires divided the 
supremacy of the western Sudan, the Mandinga and the Songhoy, the first 
terminating the period of its ascendancy, the second on the eve of attaining 
it. The Mandinga Empire exercised its influence, in some cases its direct 
authority, over all the countries comprised between the Sahara to the north, 
the forest to the south, the Atlantic on the west and the meridian 5° west'on 
the east. The Songhoy Empire was supreme eastwards of this meridian. 
Although decline was already setting in upon the Mandinga Empire in 
Pacheco's day it is quite apparent from his references that its power still 
extended down to the lower Gambia. However, had he written a few years 
later, he would have had a different story to tell, for in 1534 the “ Man&a ” of 
Mandinga sent to John III of Portugal imploring his help against the en¬ 
croachments of his eastern neighbours. John replied by sending an ambas¬ 
sador! Twelve years later the Songhoy army advanced to the Mandinga 
capital, the "Mansa" barely escaping with his life. 

5 Lacuna. The context seems to require some such words as we have in¬ 

serted : in chap. 26, however, Pacheco says that Rio de Canagud is called 
" Encalhor” in the vernacular. Vide supra, p. 78. . • Text corrupt. 



their king is very old and cannot govern or when he is afflicted 
with a prolonged illness, they kill him and make one of his 
sons or near relatives king. 200 leagues from this kingdom of 
Mandingua is a region where there is abundance of gold; it is 
called Toom. The inhabitants of this region have the faces and 
teeth of dogs and tails like dogs; they are black and shun con¬ 
versation, not liking to see other men. The inhabitants of the 
towns called Beetuu, Banbarranaa and Bahaa go to this country 
of Toom to obtain gold in exchange for merchandise and slaves 
which they take thither. Their mode of purchase is as follows: 
he who wishes to sell a slave or other article goes to a certain 
place appointed for the purpose and ties the slave to a tree and 
makes a hole in the ground as large as he thinks fit, and then 
goes some way off; then the Dogface comes and if he is content 
with the size of the hole he fills it with gold, and if not he covers 
up the hole and makes another smaller one and goes away; the 
seller of the slave then returns and examines the hole made by 
the Dogface and if he is satisfied he goes away again, and the 
Dogface returns and fills the hole with gold. That is their mode 
of commerce, both in slaves and other merchandise, and I have 
spoken with men who have seen this 1 . The merchants of 
Mandingua go to the fairs of Beetuu and Banbarranaa and 
Bahaa to obtain gold from these monstrous folk. 

Returning now to Rio de Guambea; it contains water-horses’ 
larger than oxen, of every colour that ordinary horses have; in 
shape they are like oxen, with cloven feet, but in their neck, face, 
hair, ears and flanks they are like horses; and on their neck they 
have two small horns or teeth of two span’s length and thick as 
a man’s arm. They live in the river, usually in the shallow parts 
with the water up to their belly, but also in the depths when 
they choose; they also come ashore to graze and lie in the sun, 
the majesty of great Nature thus providing for them both on 
land and in water. There are also in this river many large 
lizards*, some of them twenty-three and twenty-four feet from 
head to tail; they live in the water and come ashore for pro- 

* Vide Appendix No. 3. 

* I.e. the hippopotamus. Cf. J. Pory, op. cit. p. 74. 

3 I.e. crocodiles, vide supra , p. 82 note. 


pagation, when they lay eggs under the sand much larger than 
ducks’ eggs and when they are hatched they are a span in length 
and at once enter the water and grow up there; they are dangerous 
and eat men and oxen and cows. Many other things concerning 
the Rio de Guambea I omit because I am no friend of prolixity, 
although it is no bad thing when satisfactorily employed. The 
people of this country all speak the language of Mandingua and 
follow the sect of Mahomet 1 ; they wear blue cotton shirts and 
drawers of the same material. They have many vices and take 
as many wives as they like; lust is universal among them. They 
are very great thieves, drunkards and liars and are ungrateful; 
all the badness of bad men is in them. 

Chapter xxx 

Concerning the voyage and landmarks from Rio de 
Guambea to Cabo Roxo and Rio Grande. 

Item. Rio de Guambea and Cabo Roxo lie N and S and 
occupy twenty-five leagues of the route; half way there is a river 
called Casamansa, the people on whose banks belong to Man¬ 
dingua. Here are some shallows of mud, with five or six 
fathoms, running out two leagues into the sea, and at the end 
of this mud there are shallows of sand with twelve and fifteen 
fathoms, extending for four leagues. In this Rio de Casamansa 
iron is greatly prized, and slaves are bartered for horses and 
handkerchiefs and red cloths; it is 12 0 35' north of the Equator. 
I will not speak of the channel of this river, for it often changes; 
he who would enter it must take soundings at its bar to find the 
deepest part. The tide in this river runs NW and SE. Twelve 
leagues beyond Casamansa is Cabo Roxo; its landmark is a 
reddish cliff at its extremity 3 , and it is 12 0 north of the Equator. 
From the Guambea to Cabo Roxo the coast trends north and 
south, as I have said above; but he who leaves Cabo Verde for 

1 Cf. Cadamosto, op. cit. p. 163. 

* Cf. Africa Pilot, Part x, p. 228. Actually Cabo Roxo is 12 0 20' N. 


Cabo Roxo must steer SSE in order to make Cabo Roxo, the 
distance being fifty-five leagues. 

Item. Two leagues beyond Cabo Roxo is Falulo 1 , where rice 
and meat are to be had in great abundance; five leagues beyond 
Falulo is the Rio de S. Domingos 1 , which is subject greatly to 
fever. Beyond S. Domingos is a small river called Rio das 
Ancoras 3 , and a little more than a league beyond this is Rio 
Grande 4 . It is not as large as the rivers of Qanagud and 
Guambea but derives its name from its large mouth, which is 
seven or eight leagues wide and contains five or six islands. He 
who would go to the said Rio Grande should sail from Cabo 
Verde to Cabo Roxo and from there coast along the land in order 
to enter the Rio Grande. 


Chapter xxxi 

Concerning the Rio Grande. 

Item. The Rio Grande has at its mouth five or six islands, 
very low and full of woods, called the islands of BuamS; the 
channels flowing between them are not very narrow, but in 
places they have bad shallows of rock through which the tide 
runs with great force. These channels are on the other side from 
the principal entrance of this river, which is on the NW and 
which runs east and west. The tidal waters flow in so strongly 
that.. .leagues above its mouth there is a macareo where the 

1 Bolola?—a large village standing on the beach on the west,°L Ka . 2 £ 
Bay. The breakers off the coast in this vicinity are still called Falulo, vide 
Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 230. 

J I.e. Mansoa River. Ancora Point and Ancora Isles still preserve the name. 

♦ I.e. Jeba River. . .. „ 

J I.e. the Bissagos Isles, numbering thirteen in an. 

« The name given by the Portuguese to the violent flux “d reflux ofthc 
tide experienced in certain rivers in Africa and Asia akin to a tidal bore 
Cadamosto, op. cit. pp. 178-9; Diogo Gomes (vide E. Prestage op at. 
p. 132). The Africa Pilot (Part 1, p. 233). while making no reference j to. a udal 
bore, speaks of strong tidal streams in the various channels of the Jcba Rive 
and advises vessels to be on their guard. 




incoming tide raises the water twelve and fifteen fathoms and 
runs with such violence that a ship at anchor there could only 
escape being swamped by a miracle. The shallows of this Rio 
Grande run out into the sea for thirty-five leagues, and he who 
is this distance from land, with the mouth of the river to the 
ENE, will, if he takes soundings, find sixty fathoms, and the 
plumb-line will bring up a very fine grey sand, which will 
indicate to the pilot that he is touching the shallows of this river. 
If the wind drops and the tide begins to flow in strongly, when 
he is at twenty-five fathoms, that is, six or seven leagues from 
its mouth, he should immediately anchor or tack out to sea, if 
the wind allows, for from twenty fathoms to the shore there are 
many reefs of rock, some of them visible above water and some 
not, and the violent current of the tide here can throw any ship 
upon these reefs, where it will be lost as others before it. On 
reaching the channel of this river he will find a muddy bottom 
from fifteen fathoms to the shore. The whole of this coast is very 
low and woody and difficult to recognise 1 . The channel of this 
river at high tide is eight or nine fathoms deep, and the tide 
flows NW and SE; the latitude of the river is ii° north of the 
Equator 3 , the city of Calicut in India being on the same parallel 3 . 
The pilot coasting along the land or out at sea who finds himself 
at a latitude of 11° will know that he is opposite the Rio Grande. 
I he inhabitants of this country are Guoguliis 4 and Beafares* and 
are subjects of the King of the Mandinguas; they are very black, 
many of them go naked, others w T ear a cotton cloth. Six or seven 
slaves are here bartered for one horse of small value, and there 
is a little gold, which is bartered for red cloth and the stones 
called bloodstones because they staunch blood. These people 
possess a great abundance of rice, maize, yams 6 , hens, cows and 
goats. They are Moslems and worship Mahomet and are 
circumcised but they know* neither shame nor the fear of God. 

* Cf. Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 245. * Approximately ir" 30' N. 

1 Actually :z° 15' N. 

4 The Golos of Western Liberia? {vide M., Negroes of Africa, p. 95). 

5 The Biafadas of Portuguese Guinea? (vide M. Delafosse, Negroes of 
Africa, p. 95; cf. Gulf of Biafra). 

“ ^ nharncs ” in the Portuguese, the name given to the various species of 
Dioscorea. They are herbs or under-shrubs with fleshy tuberous roots which 
arc used os substitutes for potatoes where they grow. 


Chapter xxxii 

Concerning the rivers beyond Rio Grande and some of its 
tributary rivers and also the routes and landmarks as far 
as Serra Lyoa. 

From Rio Grande to Serra Lyoa there are two courses; one of 
these is to sail SE from the mouth of the river inside the islands, 
but few pilots know this country and the voyage should be made 
by day, anchoring at night; the other is outside the islands in 
the open sea, as we shall state. Within this Rio Grande is a river 
called Buguubaa 1 * and the negroes along it are Beafares and 
Guoguliis. Ten leagues beyond Buguubaa to the SE along the 
coast is another river, by name Nanuus 3 , the inhabitants of this 
region bearing the same name; six leagues farther on is another 
river called Rio dos Pescadores 3 and five leagues farther on a 
river called Pichel 4 5 ; still farther beyond is another called Nuno 5 , 
where there is much ivory. The landmark of this river is a small 
islet at its mouth. Two leagues beyond this river is Cabo da 
Vcrga 6 , fairly high and covered with woods. The coast from 
Rio Grande to Cabo da Verga lies NW by N and SE by S and 
occupies thirty-five leagues. This country is very low and difficult 
to recognise; the bottom is foul with great reefs of rock and on 
that account very dangerous, so that it should only be navigated 
by day, standing-to by night; for greater security it should only 
be done in small vessels of from 25 to 30 tons, for a larger ship 
will run the risk of being wrecked. All the negroes of this 
country are idolaters, and although they are ignorant of the 
law, they are circumcised; this is due to the fact that they are 
neighbours of the Mandinguas and other peoples who are 

1 I.c. Buba River. 

* Cassini River (?). 

5 Kassat River (?)—really only an arm of the sea. 

4 Componi River (?). 

5 I.e. Nunez River, the island off its mouth is Gonsalvez Island. 

4 According to the Africa Pilot, Cape Vcrga is 20 miles beyond Nunez 
River (Part 1, p. 251). 



Mohammedans. One race of these negroes is called the Ban- 
hauus 1 * 3 , another the Capes* and another the Jaalunguas^; they 
are numerous and have a king whom they call Jaalomansa. At 
a place called Famenda a fair is held, and here there is much 
traffic in gold. These Jaalunguas have no coast towns and dwell 
in the interior; there are other negroes in this country called 
Guoguliis. In all this country along the coast there is a certain 
amount of gold, for which we barter bloodstones, yellow and 
green beads, tin, linen, brass bracelets, red cloth and basins such 
as barbers use, and we obtain many slaves here in exchange for 
such merchandise. The houses in this country are thatched huts 
and the inhabitants are usually at war with one another; they 
possess elephants, ounces and various other animals and birds 
of strange kinds; they live on rice and maize and other vegetables, 
and also meat and fish, of which there is an abundance. The 
route beyond Rio Grande of which we have spoken above is 
from the mouth of that river and its islands to the SE along 
the coast. 

Item. To the W by N of Cabo da Verga ten leagues out to 
sea is a small island called Alcatrazes 4 5 , with bad anchorage 
round it. 

Item. From Cabo da Verga to Cabo de Sagres is eighteen 
leagues, and this coast lies NW by N and SE by S; on its SE 
side 5 this Cabo de Sagres has a large bay 6 7 with a good clean 
anchorage in twelve and thirteen fathoms. In front of this cape, 
a league out at sea, are two small islands with an islet near them, 
which we call Ilhas dos Idolos?. The name is due to the fact 
that the negroes of this country, when they go to these islands 
to sow their rice, take with them the idols they worship; when 
this country was discovered many of these idols were found 
there and they received this name of Ilhas dos Idolos. On the 

1 The Banyoun tribe? (vide M. Delafosse, op. at. pp. 95-6). 

1 The Tiapi tribe? (vide M. DcJafosse, op. cit. pp. 95-6). 

3 The negroes of Fouta-Djallon? (vide M. Delafosse, op. cit. pp. 95-6). 

4 I.e. Alcatraz Island (io° 38' N., 15 0 23' W.). 

5 Actually the bay is to the north of Cabo de Sagres (i.e. Tumbo or Tombo 
Island). Vide Africa Pilot, Part r, p. 255. 

6 Sangaria Bay. 

7 I.e. the lies de Los. In all there are eight of them. 



larger of these islands 1 , on the southern side there is a beach 
with an excellent spring of fresh water, where at low water ships 
or their crews can take in water; at high tide the spring is 
covered. There is also plenty of wood here, and out at sea near 
these islands at thirty-five and forty fathoms there is good 
fishing. He who goes to these islands should guard against the 
negroes, for they are very bad people and have arrows which 
they poison with a marvellous herb; they have already killed 
some of our men here. Inland on the mainland opposite these 
islands there is a very high mountain range which we call the 
Serra de Brapam 2 , but the negroes give it another name; it has 
a huge gap in its centre which divides it into two parts. This 
range, Cabo de Sagres and Ilhas dos Idolos all lie in the same 
parallel, 9 0 north of the Equator. Ships can anchor round these 
two Ilhas dos Idolos in eight or nine fathoms on a good muddy 
bottom a little over half a league from shore. 

Item. Seven leagues beyond these Ilhas dos Idolos is a river 
called Cristal 3 . At its mouth to the SE are some tall trees and 
to the N is a cliff of rock, close to which is the entrance to this 
river; it has a channel of three fathoms at high tide. 

Item. Four leagues beyond Rio de Cristal is another river 
called Caabite 4 , which has a wide mouth and a dense grove of 
trees above it on the northern side. As the channel of this and 
many other rivers of this country is liable to change, the deepest 
water not always being in the same place, it is advisable to take 
soundings at the bar before entering the river. All this country 
is very hot and is densely wooded. 

Item. Five leagues beyond Caabite is a river called Tamara?, 
which has a grove of thick, tall trees on the northern side of its 
entrance; as the bar often changes and the entrance is rendered 
dangerous by the presence of many sandy shoals, it is important 
that anyone entering the river should take soundings at the bar. 

Item. Four leagues beyond Tamara is another river called 
Case 6 , and a little over a league from its entrance is a village 

1 I.e. Tamara Island. 

* The range of mountains terminating in Mount Kakuiima. 

* I.e. Manea River. 4 Morcbaia River (?). 

J Forikaria River (?). * I.e. Mellakori River. 


called Enquee, of some three hundred inhabitants. At the mouth 
of this Rio de Case is an island 1 and to the NW of it there are 
also some very tall trees; shallows extend from its mouth into 
the sea a good league and a half with, in places, two and a half 
and three fathoms and at its deepest five or six; the sea often 
breaks on them. He who would enter this river should take 
soundings at the bar, for it is dangerous and difficult and ships 
have sometimes been wrecked here. All the country- from 
Tamara to Case inland is divided by many channels and arms 
of water connecting up one river with another and along these 
small vessels can sail. The people of this river are called 
Teymenes, and here very fine gold is obtainable but only m 
small quantities, likewise slaves. Both gold and slaves are 
bartered for brass basins and brass bracelets, bloodstones, red 
cloth, linen and cotton cloths; and in this country they make 
beautiful mats of palm-leaf and necklaces of ivory. The coast 
from Ilhas dos Idolos to Case lies WNW and ESE and occupies 
twelve leagues of the route. 

Item Six leagues beyond the Rio de Case are some red clins 
which adjoin the sea 1 and the beautiful Serra Lyoa and they 
extend for three leagues or more; all this coast from Cabo Verde 
to Serra Lyoa, a distance of nearly 200 leagues, is thickly 
populated, low-lying, well-wooded and difficult to discern. Near 
these red cliffs, where they adjoin Serra Lyoa, is a river called 
Bintonbo 3 , from which shallows of sand extend a league or more 
into the sea and at low tide many islets of sand appear above the 
water. Two leagues above the mouth of the said Rio dc Bintonbo 
is a village called Tanguarim, of about 200 inhabitants; three 
leagues farther up the most serene King John II ordered a 
fortress to be built, and later for certain reasons he ordered it to 
be pulled down. All the negroes from Rio Grande to Serra Lyoa 
are idolaters and are circumcised without knowing why, except 
that some say that it is done for cleanliness, while others say that 
they would not be able to beget children if they were un- 

1 I.e. Tanna Island {vide Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 264). 

* Cf. Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 268. . , OM 

J I.e. Sierra Leone River, which, in reality, is only an arm of the sea 
receives the waters of several streams, the principal being the Rokel. 




circumcised and others say that it was the custom of their 
fathers x ; but it is probable that the chief reason why they fall 
into this error is that the Jalofos, Mandinguas and Tucuroees 
are Mohammedans and are circumcised by their law, and the 
Beafares beyond them in the same way, and as they are neigh¬ 
bours of the inhabitants of Serra Lyoa they have taken this 
custom of circumcision from one another. As we always make 
our voyage from the Ilhas dos Idolos to the said Serra along the 
coast we will now give their position with regard to one another. 

Item. Ilhas dos Idolos and the extremity of Serra Lyoa 
called Cabo Ledo a lie NW and SE and occupy eighteen leagues 
of the route; all the inhabitants along this coast between these 
islands and the said Serra are called Teymenes; they call gold 
“tebongo” and water “mancha” and rice “maaloo.” 

Chapter xxxiii 

Concerning Serra Lyoa and how the virtuous Prince 
Henry's discoveries began at Cabo de Nam and ended there. 

Following the plan of this work, we must tell of the character of 
the inhabitants of Serra Lyoa and of their way of living. The 
greater part of the inhabitants of this land are called Boulooes 3 , 
a very warlike people and rarely at peace; they call gold ‘ ‘ emloan ” 
and water “men.” Sometimes these negroes eat one another, 
but this is less usual here than in other parts of Ethiopia; they 
are all idolaters and sorcerers and are ruled by witchcraft, 

x Text corrupt. 

* Literally “Joyous Cape ”; it was so named by Pedro de Sintra “ on account 
of the beauty and verdure of the country ” (vide Cadamosto r op. cit. pp. 187-8). 

s The Bulom tribe of the Sierra Leone littoral, one of the many backward 
and half-savage tribes who have been driven to the shores of die Atlantic 
Ocean by the Mandinga and Fulani migrations. Their numbers, in common 
with all the coastal negro tribes, have been decimated by slave-raiding (vide 
M. Dclafosse, op. cit. p. 95). According to Villaut de Bellefond (Relation des 
C 6 tes d’Afriqiu appeUes Guinie, chap. 4) the whole country of Sierra Leone 
was called Boulom by the Moors. 





placing 1 implicit faith in oracles and omens. In this country 
there is gold in small quantity, which the Boulooes barter for 
salt. They take the salt to a place called Coya 3 , whence the gold 
comes ; it is very fine, of nearly twenty-three carats. We obtain 
it in exchange for brass bracelets and basins of the size barbers 
use, linen, red cloth, bloodstones, cotton cloths and other 
articles. The teeth of these negroes are filed and sharp as those 
of a dog 3 . In this land they make ivory necklaces more delicately 
carved than in any other country, also very fine and beautiful 
mats of palm-leaf which they call “ bicas.” In this country are 
many elephants and ounces and many other animals such as are 
not to be found in Spain nor in any other country of Europe. 
Here, as well, are wild men, whom the ancients called satyrs 4 . 
They are covered with hairs almost as coarse as the bristles of 
a pig; they seem human and lie with their wives after our 
fashion, but instead of speaking they shout when they are hurt. 
As they dwell in the fastnesses of this Serra they can rarely be 
captured except when very young. I omit many other things 
concerning them in order to avoid prolixity. All the negroes of 
this country are naked or wear loin-cloths of cotton; there are 
no stone buildings in this Serra, the dwelling places being simply 
thatched huts. Twelve or fifteen leagues from the sea inland is 
a race of men called Sousos*; they possess much iron, which 
they bring to Serra Lyoa and other parts and make a good profit. 
Many believe that Serra Lyoa is so-called because there are lions 
here, but this is not so, for Pero de Sintra, a knight of Prince 
Henry’s household, who discovered Serra Lyoa at the prince’s 

* Text corrupt. * Cayor (?), Gao (?): cf. book n, chap. 2. 

J The practice of filing the teeth is still widespread among the negro 
peoples of Central Africa {vide J. H. Weeks, Among Congo Cannibals, p. 141). 

* These people would appear to be identical with "the savage people” of 
Hanno’s Southern Horn. They were covered with hair and when pursued 
defended themselves with stones. The interpreters called them "gorillas” 
{vide Periplxis, chap. 18). While it is disputable whether they were a primitive 
race of human beings, or, as seems more likely, a species of the primates, 
there can be no doubt whatever that they were not gorillas, for these powerful 
apes are not found in Sierra Leone, they are native only to the Congo- 
Cameroons region of West Africa. Warmington {Ancient Explorers, p. 51) is 
inclined to identify them with chimpanzees—" a tailless tribe, and eminently 

* Vide book II, chap. 5, p. 120 note. 



bidding, seeing that it was a wild, rough country, called it the 
Lioness, and there was no other reason; and there can be no 
doubt of this, for he told me so himself 1 . 

Item. Serra Lyoa has a point called Cabo Ledo, where 
there is a shoal of rock, a good gunshot or more from the shore, 
which rises one.. .* or more above the water; between this shoal 
and the land there is a channel with seven or eight fathoms of 
water. Hard by this shoal there are four fathoms of water and 
any ship can sail up this channel without danger. If when you 
are in front of Cabo Ledo you steer inland ENE a league along 
the coast, you will discover a bay with reddish sand 3 . Here there 
is a very tall large tree and close at hand a stream of excellent 
fresh water. To the right there is a bay which has a creek with 
black sand; here is a good flat beach with room for fifteen or 
twenty ships to be repaired. In all this Serra there is much 
fish, rice, maize, hens, capons, and a few cows and other cattle; 
but whoever comes here must guard against the negroes, for they 
are very bad people and shoot with poisoned arrows. Serra Lyoa 
is 8° north of the Equator 4 ; these degrees are the number of 
degrees the Arctic Pole is above the horizon. As there is a more 
direct route from Cabo Verde to this Serra, by the open sea, we 
will describe it here. 

Item. He who leaves Cabo Verde for Serra Lyoa must sail 
south eighty leagues; he will then be opposite the shallows of 
Rio Grande and n° north of the Equator, and the mouth of 
Rio Grande will be to the ENE 35 leagues off; here he will find 
depths of from 50 to 60 fathoms and a bottom of a very fine 
ash-coloured sand. From here he must sail ESE 120 leagues 
when he will arrive at Serra Lyoa. Twenty leagues before 
reaching it, the soundings reveal red coarse sand mixed with 
small pebbles, the bottom of the sea all round the Serra being 
of this kind; there is good fishing of sea-bream here. The pilot 

1 Cadamosto, who relates Pedro de Sintra’s expeditions, says that the 
mountain was called Sierra Leone "on account of the thunder which was 
constantly heard on its cloud-capped summit" (op. cit. p. 188). 

* Lacuna. Judging by the description of this locality in the Africa Pilot 
(Part 1, p. 269) the sense of the original is restored by the insertion of the 
word " covado ” (i.e. three-quarters of a yard). 

5 I.e. Cockerill Bay. 4 Actually 8° 30' N. 




who goes to this country should have a stout sail on his ship, 
since there are frequently heavy thunderstorms here, accom¬ 
panied by very strong winds 1 ; the best course is to furl sail till 
the storm passes. In this country there are large canoes made 
from a single tree, many of which carry fifty men; they use 
them for war and other purposes. The country is full of woods 
which extend for nearly a thousand leagues along the coast; it 
is also very hot all the year round*, and in this connection we 
may note that Alfragano states that winter and summer with the 
Ethiopians are of the same character 3 . At this point the dis¬ 
coveries undertaken by the virtuous Prince Henry came to 
an end. 

Many are the benefits conferred upon this realm of Portugal 
by the virtuous Prince Henry, for in the year of Our Lord 1420 
he discovered the island of Madeira 4 and ordered it to be 
peopled, and he sent to Sicily for sugar-canes and planted them 
in Madeira, and for skilled men to teach the Portuguese how to 
make sugar 5 , as a result of which this island now yields thirty 
thousand gold crusados 6 to the Order of Christ. Further, he 
sent to Majorca for Master Jacome?, a skilled maker of charts—it 
was in this island that these charts were first made—and by 

1 Cf. W. G. Kendrew, Climates of the Continents, p. 37 - 

* Only 4° F. separate the coolest and the hottest months; 79 F. (August 
and September), 83° F. (February and March). 

1 Rudimenta Astronomica, chap. 6, edited by J. Hispalensis, 1546. 

« Pacheco is wrong here, for several Catalan and Italian maps of the 
fourteenth century (e.g. Catalan Atlas, 1375. Pizzigani portolan chart, 1367) 
portray it, and the author of the fourteenth-century Libro del Conosctmiento 
de todos lot reynos y tierras refers to it {vide Hakluyt Society edition entitled 
Book of the Knowledge..., p. 29). Moreover Pacheco is almost alone in 
attributing its discovery to the Portuguese. Antonio GalvSo {Discoveries of 
the World, p. 58) and others after him maintained that an Englishman by the 
name of Machin “was driven by a tempest to that island ” in 1344, but their 
view is not very well supported at the present time. Zurara, who is usually 
explicit, merely writes “of how the island of Madeira was peopled” by the 
Zarco expedition of 1420 (op. at. chap. 83). The official documents relating 
to the expedition {vide Alguns Documentos. p. 7) speak of Zarco and his 
colleagues simply as colonisers; this concurs with Diogo Gomes’s statement 
(vide E. Prestage, op. at. p. 38) and may be taken as a fairly conclusive 
argument for the discovery of the island prior to 1420. 

5 Cf. Barros, Asia, Decade I, book i, chap. 3 * 

* The value of the crusado was originally 325 reis, vide Prologue, book II. 

7 According to a recent Portuguese investigation (Gon9alo de Reparaz, 

Mestre jacome de Malhorca), Jacome is to be identified with Jahuda Cresques, 
son of Abraham Cresques, author of the Catalan Atlas of 1375 which is the 
earliest surviving example of Catalan cartography. (The A. Dulcerto portolan 



many gifts and favours brought him to these realms, where he 
taught his skill to men who in turn taught men who are alive 
at the present time. Further, he ordered the peopling of the 
islands of the Azores 1 , which of old were called Guorguonas*. 
All this and many other good things, which I need not relate, 
were done by this virtuous prince, besides discovering Guinea 
as far as Serra Lyoa. For greater clearness we have placed here 
a painting of Serra Lyoa, made on the spot; and here ends the 
first book. We must therefore pray God for his soul; he died 
on the 13th of November in the year 1460 and is buried in the 
monastery of Santa Maria da Vitoria da Batalha, in the chapel 
of King John his father. The benefits conferred on Portugal by 
the virtuous Prince Henry are such that its kings and people 
are greatly indebted to him, for in the country which he dis¬ 
covered a great part of the Portuguese people now earn their 
livelihood and the Kings of Portugal derive great profit from 
this commerce; for, from the Rio de Qanagud on the frontier of 
the kingdom of Jalofo, where are the first negroes (as we have 
stated at the end of the 27th chapter of this book) to Serra Lyoa 
inclusive, when the trade of this country was well ordered, it 
yielded yearly 3,500 slaves and more, many tusks of ivory, gold, 
fine cotton cloths and much other merchandise. Therefore we 
must pray God for the soul of Prince Henry, for his discovery 
of this land led to the discovery of the other Guinea beyond 
Serra Lyoa and to the discovery of India, whose commerce 
brings us an abundance of wealth. Aqui mapa. 

chart of 1339 which professes to have been made “in civitate maioricarum” 
is largely a copy of the Genoese chart of A. Dalorto of 1325.) Now while it is 
clearly unreasonable to suppose that this map was the first of that provenance 
—its wealth of accurate description and its technique point to its being the 
work of an experienced cartographer—yet there is no conclusive evidence 
for holding Majorca, or any of the Balearic Isles, to be the birth-place of the 
portolan chart. Indeed the oldest extant portolan charts all derive from 
various parts of Italy (e.g. the Pisan chart c. a.d. 1300, the Carignano chart 
c. 1300, and the Vesconte maps of c. 1311-21). It needs to be borne in mind 
none the less that these early maps are all of a pattern which may perhaps have 
received its form elsewhere in the Mediterranean. 

1 According to Zurora, the colonisation of these islands began in 1445 (op. 
cit. chap. 83). 

* I.e. the Gorgodes (or Gorgones) of antiquity. They figure commonly in 
mediaeval writings and maps: e.g. Lambert’s “ mappamundi” inLiber Floridus. 
It is by no means certain that they are identifiable with any of the Atlantic 
archipelagoes—certainly not with the Azores, which were unknown in classical 
times; cf. Antonio GalvSo, op. cit. pp. 73-4. 



T he beginning of the second book of the 
Esmcraldo De Situ Orbis, describing the discoveries 
of the most serene Prince , King Afonso V of 
Portugal. Here follows , firstly , the Prologue. 

We were greatly to be blamed did we not relate what we can 
remember of the things we have seen in our time and what we 
can with truth set forth, for those are still alive whose glory 
deserves to last as long as the knowledge of their great achieve¬ 
ments endures; such princes deserve fame and praise befitting 
their deeds, and although this applies to all, it is especially true 
of those whose deeds are worthy of our notice. Therefore we 
must not forget the late most serene prince, King Afonso V 
of Portugal, for we have seen what an excellent and truly 
magnanimous man he was and what immortality he gained for 
himself, for which reasons his fame should be perpetuated. But 
since time and change obscure and obliterate our knowledge of 
things, we must make a record of this serene sire so that his 
fame may endure from generation to generation. For he ruled 
these realms for thirty-two years 1 in justice and equity and was 
not less praised for the feats of arms which he performed than 
in the government of the State which he ever greatly honoured. 
The truth compels us to assert that he was an eminent and 
exceedingly liberal-hearted man; Our Lord endowed him with 
such grace and nobility of character that he was universally 
loved by his subjects for his goodness. His fame spreading 
through many provinces and regions, the Holy Father Pope 
Pius II elected him as captain for the Church and Christendom 
of a large fleet which he was equipping against the Turks and 

1 From 1449 to 1481. King Duarte died in 1438 while Alfonso, the heir 
apparent, was still a boy of six. From 1438 to 1440 his mother was Regent 
and from 1440 to 1449 Prince Pedro, Duarte’s brother. 


for which he granted a holy indulgence and crusade 1 . To cele¬ 
brate this, this most serene King Afonso was the first in these 
realms to order the coining of “crusados” of fine gold to pay 
the men in this holy war. (The value of each crusado was 
originally 325 reis.) Owing, however, to the death of the Holy 
Father this expedition was not carried out. 

In the service of God this virtuous Prince crossed the sea in 
person to Africa with a large fleet and army, and captured the 
town of Alcacere Ciguer from the Moors on the 19th of October 
in the year of Our Lord 1458 1 . Later, on the 24th of August of 
the year 1471 3 , he captured the town of Arzila, the Moors 
sustaining a great loss of life; in their fear all the inhabitants of 
the very strong and ancient city of Tanger fled and left it 
desolate, whereupon this excellent prince ordered it to be taken 
and peopled. All of these things we saw, with many other great 

* In 1453 Constantinople fell into the hands of the Turks; the Pope— 
Calixtus III (not Pius II as Pacheco seems to think)—fearing that worse was 
to follow, summoned ail the princes of Europe to a general crusade against 
the infidels. In 1456 a special legate, the Bishop of Silves, was sent to 
Alfonso V by Calixtus with the bull of the crusade. The king warmly 
approved the plan and promised 12,000 men at his own cost. He also struck, 
with the view of making Portuguese money of more value in the foreign 
countries through which his march would lie, a new piece of gold money 
which had a cross on one side. This was the "crusado." In no country was 
enthusiasm for the defence of the Christian faith stronger than in Portugal: 
but the zeal which animated King Alfonso was inadequate, with his limited 
resources, to contend against the Turks, unless the Pope’s appeal was warmly 
responded to by other sovereigns. Such, however, was not the case, for they 
failed to answer the rallying call, and after the death of Calixtus in 1458 the 
crusade came to nothing. 

1 As soon as it became apparent to Alfonso that po help would be forth¬ 
coming from other monarchs, he decided to carry his "crusaders" into 
Africa. His first intention was to attack Tangier, but eventually he made 
El-Qsar es Sgir his objective. He reached this town on 21 October (not 19th) 
1458, and after a brief, but very decisive, engagement entered it on foot 
with his uncle Prince Henry. It was held against great odds for some ninety 
years (until 1549). 

3 Alfonso’s success at El-Qsar cs Sgir encouraged him to dream of large 
African possessions and on more than one occasion between 1458 and r47i 
he attempted to take Tangier without success. In 1471, however, the king 
decided to renew the crusade and attack Arzila. The city was taken without 
much difficulty but the Moors lost 2000 men and had some 5000 taken 
prisoner. One unexpected outcome of the capture of Arzila was the abandon¬ 
ment of Tangier. The inhabitants of that city finding themselves between two 
Portuguese strongholds decided to save their lives by fleeing before any 
possible attack might be launched upon them. 


achievements, but it is vain to record in so base a style the deeds 
of so high a prince. We need only say that after the death of 
Prince Henry he succeeded to the enterprise of the Ethiopias 
of Guinea and ordered the discoveries to be continued beyond 
Serra Lyoa. In order that our memory of him might be the 
more enduring we have drawn here the “ Rodizio 1 ” which he 
used as his device, with his motto “Jamays.” He died in the 
town of Sintra on the 28th of August in the year of Our Lord 
Jesus Christ 1481*. 

Chapter i 

of the second hook of the Esmeraldo De Situ Orbis. 

Six leagues SSE of Cabo Ledo in Serra Lyoa appear three islets 
called Ilhas Bravas*, on the largest of which is an excellent spring 
of fresh water. From there onwards the coast forms a very large 
bay, twenty-five leagues round or more (as appears in the figure 
beyond the “Rodizio”), which we call Fuma de Santa Anna; 
into this flow many rivers, the principal being called the Rio das 
Ganboas 4 ; this river and the Ilhas Bravas lie E and W and 
occupy eight leagues of the route. At the mouth of this river is 
a great reef of rock which runs along the shore for a good half 
league; the channel of the river has a muddy bottom, with three 
fathoms at high tide. Small vessels can sail a league up it to 
a place called Harhouche, where some gold and slaves are 
bartered for bloodstones, brass bracelets, red cloth, linen, brass 
basins and other things of this kind. The whole of this Fuma de 

* Alfonso’s device was a mill-wheel with drops of water scattered round it, 
symbolical of his love for his wife and regret at her death, which is further 
shown by the motto “Jamays ”: he could never forget her (E. Prestage, op. cit. 
p. 178). His wife, Isobel, whom he married in 1446 (or 1447) died in 1449 
almost immediately after the death of her father, Don Pedro, Alfonso’s uncle. 

1 The existing MSS. read 1471. 

3 I.e. Banana Isles—“a group of three islands with the appearance, from a 
distance of 10 miles, of a few sharp peaks..." (Africa Pilot, Part r, p. 275); 
hence the name “bravas” (meaning “wild”). 

4 I.e. Sherbro’ River, the mouth of which is troubled by the Bengal Rocks 
and numerous shoals (vitU Africa Pilot, Part I, pp. 277-8). 



Santa Anna is beset with many shallows of rock and sand 1 , and 
a ship bound for Malagueta or Mina without having to touch 
here should take another course, according to the directions that 
follow. All the inhabitants of this country' are called Boulooes. 

Aqui mapa. 

Item. If a ship of about thirty-five tons has to go from Cabo 
Ledo in Serra Lyoa to the coast of Malagueta or Mina it should 
sail SSW and will double Cabo de Santa Anna in eight or nine 
fathoms at a distance of six leagues from the shore; but a large 
ship should steer SW when it will be in twelve and fifteen 
fathoms, and when it is in thirty fathoms it must sail ESE; in 
this way it will arrive at a cape called Cabo do Monte which is 
thirty leagues beyond Cabo de Santa Anna. Thence one can sail 
to the coast of Malagueta or of Mina, as we shall explain below. 
This Cabo de Santa Anna is very low-lying land and has three 
islets 3 at its point; the land within the bay is intersected by an 
arm of the sea, which extends to Rio das Palmas, the cape thus 
forming an island called Turulo*. From Cabo Ledo in Serra 
Lyoa to this Cabo de Santa Anna is sixteen leagues and the 
latitude of this cape is 7 0 north 4 . The shape of this country will 
be seen from the illustration and painting. 

Item. Cabo de Santa Anna and Rio das Palmas lie E and W 
and occupy twelve leagues of the route. The channel of this 
river changes two and three times a year 5 , so that I can say 
nothing certain about it; I can only state that it has many sand 
shallows at its mouth and that he who would enter must for 
safety’s sake take soundings at its bar. Alternatively he may enter 
the Fuma de Santa Anna by an arm of the sea running along 
the island of Turulo and so reach the said Rio das Palmas, as 
may be seen in our illustration and painting. The land to the 
SE at the mouth of this river is a little higher than that at the 
mouth of the other one we spoke of above. If he sails up this 

' I.e. the shoals of St Ann (vide Africa Pilot, Part 1, p. 277). 

* The three islets lying off Cape St Ann are the Turtle Islands. 

J I.e. Sherbro’ Island; cf. S. Pimentel, Arte Pratica, p. 253, where the 
island is called Farulho. 

* Actually 7 0 34' N. In his list of latitudes (book I, chap. 7) Pacheco gives 
the latitude as 7 0 20'. 

5 Cf. Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 282. 

British Museum. Egerton MS. 2803 

7 * 



river for twenty-five leagues 1 in a small vessel of thirty or thirty- 
five tons, he will find seven villages, and beyond them a large 
town of five or six thousand inhabitants, called Quynamo*. In 
two months here it is possible to obtain 1,500 doubloons for 
such merchandise as I mentioned in chapter i* and also for tin, 
which* is much prized here. It is also possible to buy some 
slaves here for the same merchandise; but it is necessary to be 
on guard against the negroes of this country, for they are very 
evil people and attack our ships in great canoes. They are called 
Boulooes, and their country is rich in rice and other produce 
but very subject to fevers. 

Chapter ii 

Concerning the Rio das Galinhas [and the land beyond]. 

All the country from Rio das Palmas along the coast to Rio das 
Galinhas 5 is very low and wooded; it is hot throughout the year. 
The winter begins in May and ends in October 6 , when there is 
much rain, but also sultry heat for, as Alfragano says, in the 
land of the Ethiopians winter and summer are the same in 
character?, the reason being that a part of Ethiopia lies on the 
Equator and a part near it; it is because of this that it is so hot. 
Rio das Galinhas and Rio das Palmas lie E by S and W by N and 
occupy twelve leagues of the route. But since this Rio das 
Galinhas yields no profit I will not make bold to speak of it. 

Item. Rio das Galinhas and Cabo do Monte lie NW by W 
and SE by E and occupy fifteen leagues. This Cabo do Monte is 

* Cf. Africa Pilot, Part X, p. 282. 

* Quimanora, in S. Pimentel, op. cit. p. 263. 

s Book ii, chap, x, para. i. 4 Text corrupt. 

5 I.e. Gallinas River. 

4 The word “ winter” is unfortunate (as Pacheco appears to realise from the 
following statement), for the difference between the highest and lowest 
monthly mean temperatures is only 5° F. At Freetown the range is from 
77-4° to 82-2°. The lowest temperatures occur during the rainy season, which 
commences in April and lasts until November. On the coast, e.g. at Freetown, 
as much as 175 inches fall during these months. 

7 Vide book 1, chap. 33, p. 100 note. 


fairly high 1 , and when it is seen to the NE by E, its summit 
appears as two; it is the only mountain on this coast. The sea 
round it is deep, with 45 and 50 fathoms a league from shore, 
the bottom being nearly all mud. Half a league beyond Cabo do 
Monte to the W is a river which we call Rio dos Monos 3 , but 
others give it a different name. Although its mouth is fairly wide 
it cannot be seen unless one is close to the shore; the channel 
of this river is very shallow, with a depth of a span more than 
a fathom at high tide, so that only a very small vessel can enter it. 
Ascending it about thirty leagues you will come to a region 
called Coyah whence comes all the gold to Serra Lyoa and its 
region; it is very fine gold of 23 carats. Salt is much prized 
here, but tin and other merchandise of similar value, much 
more. The people of this country are called Cobales. 

Item. From Cabo do Monte to Cabo Mesurado is twelve 
leagues. Cabo Mesurado has the shape of a round hill, but 
when you are in front of it, it appears to be bifurcated, there 
being one hillock on one side, and another on the other. Its 
latitude is 6° 20' north of the Equator 4 and the coast here runs 
NW by W and SE by E. 

Item. From Cabo Mesurado to the forest of Santa Maria* 
is two leagues; this forest is very large and dense, and at this 
point there begins the trade in “malagueta” (which, in Latin, 
is called “grana paradisy ”) 6 ; and it continues for forty leagues 
along the coast. 

Item. From the forest of Santa Maria to Rio de Sam Paulo 7 
is six leagues, and at this river gold of 23 carats quality is found, 

* I.e. Cape Mount. According to Pedro de Sintra the cape was so named 
because he saw a very lofty mountain beyond it (vide Cadamosto, op. cit. 
pp. 191-2). 

1 I.e. Cape Mount River (vide Africa Pilot, Part 1, p. 284). 

J Chouxcha in S. Pimentel, op. at. p. 263. 

4 Actually Cape Mesurado is 6° 19' N. 

5 Cf. Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 286. 

6 Maleguette pepper (the same as “guinea grains,” “grains of Paradise” 
and “alligator pepper”) is the seed of Amomtcm Melegueta, a plant of the 
ginger family: the seeds arc exceedingly pungent and are used as a spice 
throughout central and northern Africa. John Pory (op. cit. p. 78) describes 
it thus: " a little red grain which there groweth, being in shape somewhat like 
to the millet of Italy, but of a most vehement and fiery taste.” 

7 I.e. St Paul River. 



although in small quantity. At this point there commence some 
fairly high mountains which we call the mountains of Sam 
Paulo x , because these mountains and this river were discovered 
on the day of the Apostle Sam Paulo; they run along the coast 
to the east for six or seven leagues at about two leagues’ distance 
from the seashore. The landmark of the Rio de Sam Paulo is 
that it is at the beginning of these mountains; the coast runs 
NW and ESE, and the course is two leagues at sea from the 
mouth of this river. 

Item. From Rio de S. Paulo to Rio do Junco* is six leagues. 
This river has an islet at its mouth; here, too, there is gold in 
small quantity and likewise malagueta. 

Item. From Rio do Junco to Rio dos Cestos* is twelve 
leagues; its name is due to the fact that the negroes of this 
country come to the ships to sell pepper (which is very good and 
fairly plentiful here) in baskets, which they do not do elsewhere 
on the coast where this pepper is sold. Ships should, for safety’s 
sake, anchor in ten to twelve fathoms and so be on a muddy 
bottom a league from land opposite the mouth of this Rio dos 
Cestos; but at twenty to twenty-five fathoms the bottom is foul 
with rock. The mouth of this river is very small and is only 
visible by those entering the bay 4 which the coast makes there; 
to the east there is a spur of rock which runs out as a reef into 
the sea and it is called Cabo das Baixas*. The latitude of the 
Rio dos Cestos is 5 0 30' N of the Equator 6 . The inhabitants 
of this country and of twenty-five leagues or more beyond are 
called Zeguebos. Half a league beyond the mouth of this river, 
at the Cabo das Baixas of which we have spoken, there is a fairly 
dense grove of trees. Such are the landmarks of this river. In 
the same parallel lies the castle of S. Jorze da Mina. The Rio 
dos Cestos and the Rio do Junco lie SE by E and NW by W and 
occupy twelve leagues of the route. 

* Cf. Africa Pilot, Part 1, p. 286. 

* I.e. Junk River. 

s This name is still retained; the word signifies large wicker-baskets. 

« I.e. Cestos Bay. 5 I.e- Cestos Reef. 

6 Cestos Point is 5° 26' N. 


Chapter iii 

of the second book of the Esmeraldo De Situ Orbis. 

For order and clearness in the series of landmarks and routes 
along this coast, we will describe in detail the places and such 
particulars concerning them as we may think good. 

Item. Three leagues beyond the Rio dos Cestos is a small 
island a quarter of a league from land called Ilha da Palma *, a 
name derived from the palm-tree which is still there in our day. 
We do not navigate between the island and the land, for con¬ 
ditions do not admit of it; but if anyone wishes to anchor here 
in a small vessel he may do so in ten fathoms nearly a league 
from shore on a clean bottom. Here he will be able to buy and 
barter slaves*.. .which are called “guey” and also “nhunho.” 
However, this is now ruined; when it was properly conducted 
one could buy a bushel of pepper for a brass bracelet weighing 
about half a pound, and a slave for two basins such as barbers 
use, but now a bushel of pepper is worth five or six bracelets 
and a slave four or five basins. The negroes of this coast are 
uncircumcised and naked, and are idolaters, having neither 
religion nor goodness; they are great fishermen and go two or 
three leagues out to sea to fish, in canoes which, in shape, are 
like weavers’ shuttles 3 . 

Item. From Ilha da Palma to Ilheos is two leagues. These 
islets are two in number 1 * * 4 and are completely bare, without soil 
or trees, and are very white from the guano of birds which sleep 
there. Round these islets are many very dangerous shoals of 
rock, some of them visible above water and some not; a large 
ship of eighty to a hundred tons should anchor in thirty-five 
fathoms a good league and a half from the shore, but a small 

1 I.c. Di Rock—the highest of several large rocks standing on Diabolitos 
Reef {vide Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 291). 

1 Judging by the context, this lacuna originally contained the words “and 

5 Cf. S. Pimentel, op. cit. p. 264. 

4 The Africa Pilot speaks of several islets in this vicinity that constitute 
dangers to shipping. One of them is actually called White Rock (Part 1, 
pp. 291-2). 



ship may anchor at eight fathoms below these islets on a clean 
sandy bottom one league out at sea, which is the position of 
these islets. Whoever comes here should beware of anchoring in 
twenty to twenty-five fathoms, for the bottom is foul and he 
would lose his anchors. A prudent man will not trade on this 
coast from the beginning of May till the end of September, for 
the country is subject to tempestuous weather and great thunder¬ 
storms \ A fair amount of pepper is found here and some slaves; 
these may be bartered for the merchandise which I have 
mentioned in previous chapters. 

Item. From the said Ilheos to Cabo Fermoso 1 is five leagues, 
and this cape does not run far out into the sea; like the rest of 
the coast it is densely wooded and is difficult to find for those 
who come in from the sea. 

Item. From Cabo Fermoso to Resguate do Genovs 3 is three 
leagues; when King Afonso V ordered the discovery of this 
country a Genoese seaman who sailed in one of the ships was 
the first to land here and to barter for pepper, hence the name 
of this place—Resguate do Genoes 4 . Its landmark is a small 
wood of fairly tall trees, shaped like an eyebrow, high in the 
centre and pointed at the ends; here there is a very small river 
whose mouth is only visible when one is very near the land. 
Pepper and slaves can be obtained there in the way we have said. 
Anchorage can be had in fifteen fathoms on a clean bottom a 
little over half a league from land. 

Item. From Resguate do Genoes to Rio de S. Vincente 5 is 
three leagues. Between them there is a sharp point which rims 

* The season of mjgor rains along the Liberian coast begins in April and 
continues, with an interval of about a month in August during which there is 
less rain, until mid-November. Tornadoes are frequent throughout this 
period, and especially at the beginning and end of the rains. 

* Sangwin Point (?), Wilson Point (?). 

5 The coast between Baffu Point and Tassu Point (?) ( vide Africa Pilot, 
Part i, p. 293). The discovery of this part of the coast was effected c. aj>. 1470 - 
In 1469 Alfonso V “ let out for yearly rent the trade of Guinea ” to a wealthy 
citizen of Lisbon, Fem 2 o Gomes, for five years, on condition that he should 
discover a too leagues of coast every year, starting from Sierra Leone. As a 
result of this agreement, a rapid advance was made eastwards and southwards. 
However, practically no details of the voyages have been preserved and their 
dates are uncertain. 

4 I.e. '* bartering-place of the Genoese.” 

5 I.e. Grand Butu River. 


out into the sea 1 ; it is very rocky and has some trees. To the 
E of this point is the small river of which we have spoken; it is 
difficult to enter, because the sea is running into it most of the 
time, and boats from our ships entering it to take in water and 
wood have, on occasions, been lost. This river and Rio dos 
Cestos lie SE by E and NW by N and occupy fifteen leagues 
of the route. Pepper is found here. 

Item. Four leagues along the coast beyond the Rio de 
S. Vincente is the Praya dos Escravos 3 , which extends for two 
leagues or more; its name is derived from the fact that certain 
slaves were obtained by barter here when this land was dis¬ 
covered, but now it is a place of little barter because on the coast 
before and after it more pepper and slaves are found than on 
this part of the shore itself. In the year of Our Lord 1475 a ship 
was fitted out by Flemings in Flanders 3 , with a Castilian captain, 
who dared to sail with their merchandise to Mina seven or eight 
years before the castle of S. Jorze was built. They obtained five 
or six thousand doubloons, but as they did not fear the heavy 
excommunications of the Holy Fathers who granted to the Kings 
of Portugal that none of any other race than Portuguese with 
the permission of the Kings of Portugal should sail thither, and 
as they did not fear the prohibitions of the Holy Mother Church, 
God gave them a bad end; for on their return voyage from 
Mina, when they were opposite this Praya dos Escravos, as the 
wind was then calm and in the west they anchored in twenty-five 
fathoms; but as the bottom along all this coast is full of rock it 
cut through their hawser during the night, and a wind blowing 
up from the sea drove their ship on to the beach, where it was 
wrecked. The negroes there ate the thirty-five Flemings who 

* I.e. Grand Butu Point (vide Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 295 )* 

* Sinu Bay (?). 

* Notwithstanding the grants made by successive Popes to the Kings of 
Portugal of the exclusive rights to the lands and seas discovered to the south, 
vessels of other nations carried on “poaching” expeditions along the Guinea 
coast. Spanish rivalry was especially keen and led to some sharp diplomatic 
exchanges between the two Cortes. Written agreements proving to be mere 
“scraps of paper,” Alfonso V finally decreed in 1480 that the crews of foreign 
vessels found in the sphere granted to him by Papal bulls should be thrown 
into the sea (vide Alguns Documentor..., p. 45). Judging by the embassy 
sent by John II of Portugal to Edward IV in 1482, it would appear that the 
English were already interested in maritime enterprise along the African coast. 


ll 3 

formed the crew. We learnt this from the negroes themselves 
and from Pedro Gon5alves Neto 1 , who in the following year 
went there as captain of a ship and obtained in barter nearly all 
the gold which the Flemings had with them and some of their 

Item. From Praya dos Escravos to Lagea* is seven leagues, 
and all this coast from Rio de S. Vincente to Lagea lies WNW 
and ESE. Lagea is a huge rock more than a bowshot long and 
half a bowshot wide and is a little over a quarter of a league 
distant from the shore. This is the best place for pepper along 
the whole of this coast, and the landmarks are the rock itself 
and the land beyond it, which has the appearance of a great tall 
wood. The ship that would trade here should anchor at ten or 
twelve fathoms on a muddy bottom, but should beware of 
anchoring at twenty or twenty-five fathoms, for it is all rock and 
the anchors will be lost. The negroes of all this coast bring 
pepper for barter to the ships in the canoes in which they go 
out fishing. They are naked and are not circumcised, and they 
are idolaters, being heathens. 

Item. From Lagea to Cabo de S. Cremente 3 is five leagues; 
this part of the coast runs WNW and ESE. The cape is densely 
wooded and does not run far into the sea. There is a little pepper 
here. All the negroes of the coast are idolaters and are not 
circumcised; they are vicious people and seldom at peace. 

Item. From Cabo de S. Cremente to Cabo das Palmas is 
ten leagues, and the route lies E and W. He who leaves the shore 
at Cabo de S. Cremente for Cabo das Palmas must sail E by S in 
order to be safe. This Cabo das Palmas 4 forms a slender pro- 

* Possibly one of Femfio Gomes’s captains. Palencia in his Chronicle of 
Henry IV of Castille (vol. rv, pp. 205 et seq., Paz y Mclia’s edition, 1908) tells 
us that in 1476 Prince John cancelled Gomes’s contract, owing to the in¬ 
cursions of the Spanish expeditions, which interfered with his (Gomes’s) 
monopoly, and decided to send him to Guinea with a fleet of twenty sail to 
bring back gold dust and slaves before the Andalusian fleet, which they were 
expecting to encounter, could start. This expedition appears to have been 
eminently gratifying to the Portuguese, but the details are wanting. 

* Druta Rock (?) ( vide Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 299). 

i Subbubo Point (?) {vide Africa Pilot, Part 1, p. 300). 

4 Cape Palmas (4 0 22' N.) is actually fronted by a small island—Russwurm 
Island—which, however, is “difficult to distinguish against the cape” {vide 
Africa Pilot, Part 1, p. 306). 




XI 4 

montory which extends seawards a considerable distance and has 
a row of palm-trees; out to sea about a league from this cape are 
two very dangerous shallows of rock over which the sea breaks. 
The latitude of this cape is 4 0 10' N of the Equator. Beyond it 
the coast turns ENE, and these are the signs by which one can 
distinguish the cape, the chief being its latitude. On the main¬ 
land at the extremity of this cape is a spring of good fresh water; 
sometimes in case of necessity we take in water at a sandy bay 
situated behind this cape to the W. He who enters here need 
not fear to sail between the two shallows and the shore, for 
everywhere there is a clean bottom with twelve or thirteen 
fathoms of water. From the month of September to the end of 
March and for some months after the sea runs past this cape 
eastwards and eastnortheastwards so strongly 1 that ships bound 
from Mina to Portugal cannot double it unless a gust of favour¬ 
able wind blow's from the stem or hatchway. We therefore steer 
a course WSW to avoid the coast of Malagueta, which ends in 
Cabo das Palmas. Two leagues beyond this cape the land runs 
out into a rugged promontory 3 with spurs of rock covered with 
trees; it projects seawards as far as, or farther than, Cabo das 
Palmas, and here there is a village which w'e have called “ Aldea 
de Portugal.” The natives of Cabo das Palmas are called 

Chapter iv 

Concerning the routes and landmarks from Cabo das 
Palmas to the Castle of S. Jorze da Mina. 

We must notice the difference in the direction of the coast 
beyond Cabo das Palmas, for beyond this cape it runs in one 
direction, and on this side of the cape, along the coast of Mala¬ 
gueta, in another: any pilot going to these parts should observe 
this and the latitude of this cape, and he will then make no 

* Cf. Africa Pilot, Part I, pp. 307, 310. 

* I.e. Growa Point. 

1 Siguorebo in S. Pimentel, op. cit. p. 266. 


mistake, even if he does not know this country as we now know 
it after the experience of many years. 

Item. Eight leagues beyond Cabo das Palmas is a river called 
Rio de S. Pedro 1 ; they lie WSW and ENE. This river has a 
small mouth, but as we are not accustomed to enter it and have 
no practical knowledge of it, we will therefore not write about 
that which is unknown to us, although the coast itself we have 
come to know well enough from years of experience. 

Item. From Rio de S. Pedro to Rio de S. Andr£ is twenty- 
five leagues, and between them is a narrow cape, called Cabo 
da Praya 3 , which has on the W side some fields called “the rice 
fields.” Farther on the land forms a bay* having a broad head¬ 
land at its entrance and a white rock like an islet standing in the 
sea 4 . All this coast is inhabited. A little beyond this bay along 
the sea are six or seven hills*; these are eight leagues distant 
from Rio de S. Andr£. The coast lies W by S and E by N. Rio 
de S. Andre 6 has a wide mouth, and when opposite it you can 
see above its mouth some trees in the interior which look like 
pine-trees; half a league up the river there is an island in 
mid-stream. From the ricefields to this river you will find a 
muddy bottom with some patches of sand if you anchor half a 
league from the shore in twenty fathoms; at a league from land 
the depth is fifty fathoms. But as we have not yet had any 
experience or traffic at this Rio de S. Andre we will say no more 
of it here, except that we have learnt that the country is densely 
populated and this river, like all the other rivers of Guinea, is 
rife with fever. 

Item. Three leagues beyond the Rio de S. Andr6 you find 
tall red cliffs? along the coast, extending for four or five leagues; 
these lie E and W with respect to the river and are composed 
of very red clay and are the landmark for the said R. de S. Andr£. 

Item. From the red cliffs to Rio d’Alaguoa 8 is eight leagues, 
and the coast lies W by S and E by N. The landmarks of this 

* Name retained to the present day. 

* Drewin (or Moncho) Point {vide Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 316). 

1 Victoria Gulf (or Bay) {vide Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 316). 

4 Boulakba Rocks {vide Africa Pilot, Part t, p. 316). 

5 The Drewin Highland. * Sassandra (or St Andrew) River. 

7 Cf. Africa Pilot, Part r, p. 319. * I.e. Lahu River. 




Rio d’Alaguoa are a wood, like a pinewood, above its mouth in 
the interior, and the fact that this river flows along the coast till 
it reaches a village 1 where in our day there are four palm-trees, 
each standing apart by itself; on the farther side of this village 
is a very large lake, which you cannot see unless you climb the 
ship’s mast. All this coast has a good clean bottom as far as 
Cabo das Tres Pontas; we do not know if there is any commerce 

Item. Seven leagues beyond Rio d’Alaguoa there are seven 
villages, which are very well populated, extending seven or eight 
leagues along the coast; the coast runs E and W and is composed 
entirely of beach of a reddish sand. The country is densely 
wooded and the depth near the shore is thirty to forty fathoms, 
but it is less than this two leagues out at sea. The negroes of this 
coast are great fishermen and their canoes have fo’castles. They 
wear hooded caps like those of shepherds; they go naked and 
are idolaters. We call them “Rei$udosV* They are evil people 
and there is no commerce here. 

Item. From the seven villages to Rio de Mayo 3 is twelve 
leagues; the mouth of this river is not large and the country 
round it is very low, marshy and well-wooded. We know nothing 
of what trade there may be in this country, but only know that 
it is densely populated. 

Item. From Rio de Mayo to Rio de Soeyro 4 is ten leagues. 
This Rio de Soeyro was discovered by Soeyro da Costa at the 
bidding of King Afonso V. Whoever sails from the shore past the 
seven villages to this Rio de Soeyro, must sail E by S, close in 
to the shore, and by this course he will not go wrong. 

Item. From Rio de Soeyro to the Serra de Santa Apolonia 3 
is twelve leagues; the coast lies WNW and ESE. Six leagues 
beyond these hills you will see a fortress 6 which Our Lord King 

* Grand Lahu (?) (vide Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 320). 

* I.e. “the thick-lipped.” * I.e. Komo€ River. 

« I.e. Assini River: to this day the hills behind the mouth of this river are 
called after da Costa, who was one of the captains employed by Fernio Gomes 
during the period of his Guinea trading lease. 

* Cf. Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 325. 

* A fort—St Anthony’s—still commands the bay in which the port of 
Axim is situated. 



Manuel ordered to be built, where yearly there is obtained in 
barter thirty to forty thousand doubloons of good gold. The 
country is called Axem and is very subject to fever. The 
merchandise exchanged for gold consists of brass bracelets, 
basins of the same metal, red and blue cloth, linen neither very 
coarse nor very fine, and “lanbens,” that is, a kind of mantle 
made like the shawls of Alentejo, with stripes of red, green, blue 
and white, the stripes being two or three inches wide. They are 
made in the city of Ouram 1 and in Tenez* in the kingdom of 
Tremecem, in Bona 3 and Estora 4 of the kingdom of Bogia, and 
also in TunezS and in other parts of Berbery. This is the 
principal merchandise used for the barter of gold in Axem, 
besides other articles of less value. 

To continue our description of the Serra de Santa Apolonia; 
it is not as high as the ignorant may imagine, but consists of 
eight or ten hills of reasonable height on the coast, covered with 
woods. However, because the rest of the country is very low 
these hills seem quite high. He who leaves Cabo das Palmas 
for the castle of S. Jorze da Mina should sail E by N; at 130 
leagues along the route he will find the Serra de Santa Apolonia 
opposite him; in order not to lose his way his correct course 
will lie outside the bay. 

Item. The Serra de Santa Apolonia and Cabo das Tres 
Pontas 6 lie NW by W and SE by E and they occupy fifteen 
leagues of the route. One may anchor opposite this Serra in 
twenty fathoms on a muddy bottom a league from the shore. 
Twelve leagues beyond this Serra is an islet close to the main¬ 
land; it is very rugged and white with the guano of birds. 
A little over half a league from this islet is an island near to the 
coast; this island has a tree in its centre and on the side on which 
the sea beats it is of a reddish colour. From there to Cabo das 
Tres Pontas is three leagues. I do not know why this cape was 
called thus, for there are six or seven points, on all of which the 
sea beats; they are all of broken rock, and he who doubles the 

1 I.e. Oran: cf. Leo Africans, op. eit. book iv, p. 676. 

1 Cf. Leo Africanus, op. cit. p. 680. J Cf. ibid. p. 709. 

* I.e. Store in Argelia in the province of Constantina, to the northwest of 

* Cf. Leo Africanus, op. at. p. 719. ‘ I.e. Cape Three Points. 



central point doubles them all. The landmarks of this cape are 
that the coast there turns to the NE and that its latitude is 
4° 30' N x . The pilot or captain who is ignorant of this country 
should observe the trend of the coast and he will find that it 
follows two directions: from Cabo das Tres Pontas to Serra de 
Santa Apolonia it lies NW by W and SE by E; and from there 
it trends NE, the latitude increasing. 

Item. From Cabo das Tres Pontas to the islets of Anda 2 is 
four leagues; the coast runs SW and NE, and these islands are 
very close to the shore; in the same neighbourhood there are 
some red cliffs. The region of Anda extends for seven or eight 
leagues; it contains a gold mine, which although not very large, 
yields 20,000 doubloons or more; the gold is taken to be bartered 
at the Castle of S. Jorze da Mina and at the fortress of Axem 
of which we have spoken above. The negroes of this country 
live on millet, fish and yams, together with a little meat; they 
are naked from the waist up, are uncircumcised and heathen, 
but, God willing, they will soon become Christians. 

Item. The islet of Anda and the Rio de Sam Joham^ lie SW 
and NE and occupy eight leagues of the route. This river is very 
small and narrow; there is only a fathom and a half at its mouth 
at high tide, and its mouth cannot be seen until one is quite 
close to it. There is here a town called Samaa* of some 500 
inhabitants, where the first gold in this country was obtained in 
barter, and it was at that time called Mina. It was discovered 
at the bidding of King Afonso V by Joham de Santarem and 
Pedro d’Escobar 5 , knights of his household, in the month of 
January of the year of Our Lord 1471. These captains carried 
as pilots a certain Alvaro Estevez, an inhabitant of the town of 
Lagos, and a certain Martim Estevez, citizen of Lisbon, Alvaro 
Estevez being the man most skilled in his profession in Spain 
at that time. The landmark of the Rio de S. Joham and of the 

1 Actually 4 0 46' N. * Abokori Islet (?). 

i Pra River. It enters the sea in Shama Bay. 

4 I.e. Shama which, to-day, has a population of about 2400 {vide Africa 
Pilot, Part 1, p. 337). 

5 These men, like Sceiro da Costa, were chosen by Fem 3 o Gomes to 
forward the exploration of West Africa. Pedro d’Escobar subsequently 
accompanied Diogo CSo to the Congo and acted as one of Vasco da Gama’s 
pilots on his first voyage to India. 


town of Samaa is a very large bay over two leagues in circuit and 
a good league across from point to point; almost in the centre of 
the bay is the mouth of the river. This bay is full of shallows 
and a ship should anchor in ten or twelve fathoms on a clean 
sandy bottom a league from the shore and not go farther in. 

Item. From the bay of Samaa to the village of Torto is three 
leagues; the route lies WSW and ENE. The lord of this village 
was squint-eyed, hence its name. It has a great reef of rock on 
which the sea breaks violently 1 , running more than half a league 
into the sea, so that one should keep well out. From here to the 
castle of S. Jorze da Mina is three leagues. 

Chapter v 

Concerning the Castle of S. Jorze da Mina and 
when it was built. 

In the paragraph before last we related how the excellent prince, 
King Afonso V ordered the discovery of Mina and what captains 
and pilots he sent for the purpose. We must now tell how his 
son the most serene prince, King John of Portugal after the 
death of his father ordered the foundation of the Castle of 
S. Jorze da Mina. At the bidding of this magnanimous prince 
it was built by Dieguo d’Azambuja*, a knight of his household 

* Kassi Reefs (?) (vide Africa Pilot, Part X, p. 338). 

* John II lost no time in promoting Portugal's Africa enterprise on his 
accession in 1481. Two of the first things he did were to give orders for the 
completion of the fort of Arguim (begun in Alfonso's reign) and authorise 
the construction of another at Mina (i.e. Elmina Castle) for the purpose, 
mainly, of organising the gold traffic of that region. This second undertaking 
was regarded by many of the members of his Council as untimely and doomed 
to failure on the grounds of climate, distance from Portugal and the in¬ 
calculable attitude of the negro. Notwithstanding, John went ahead with his 
plans and entrusted the execution of them to Diogo d’Azambuja "who 
combined the aptitudes of a diplomat, a general and an engineer” (vide 
E. Prestage, op. cit. p. 199). The work of building the fort began almost 
immediately after his arrival in 1482: in fact, within twenty days the central 
tower was sufficiently near completion to be available for defensive purposes. 
(This speed was made possible by the fact that the stones for the tower had 
been cut and fashioned in Portugal.) Azambuja remained at Mina for two 
and a half years, by which time the trade of the fort was enjoying the prosperity 
alluded to in Pacheco's account. In 2486 John II bestowed on Mina the 
status of municipality and added “Lord of Guinea” to his titles. 



and High Commander of the Order of S. Bento. On the ist of 
January in the year of Our Lord 1482 he took with him nine 
caravels, each with its captain, very honourable men, under his 
command, together with two ureas of 400 tons laden with lime 
and building stone and other material for this work. 1 here was 
much trouble with the negroes, who wished to prevent the work, 
but it was finally finished, despite them, with all diligence and 
zeal, and it was necessary for the refuge and defence of all of us. 
At a later date the same King John, seeing that this was necessary, 
ordered the work to be added to. This, as we know, was the 
first stone building in the region of the Ethiopias of Guinea since 
the creation of the world. Through this fortress trade so greatly 
increased by the favour of Our Lord that 170,000 doubloons 
of good fine gold, and sometimes much more, are yearly brought 
thence to these realms of Portugal; it is bartered from the negro 
merchants who bring it thither from distant lands. These 
merchants belong to various tribes; the Bremus 1 * , Atis 3 , Hacanys 3 5 , 
Boroes*, Mandinguas 5 , Cacres 6 , Andeses or Souzos 7 , and many 
others which I omit for the sake of brevity. In exchange they 
take away much merchandise, such as “lanbens,” which is the 
principal article of commerce (we described this in the ninth 
paragraph of the fourth chapter of this second book), red and 
blue cloth, brass bracelets, handkerchiefs, corals, and certain 
red shells which they prize as we prize precious stones; white 
wine is also greatly prized, and blue beads, which they call 
“coris,” and many other articles of various kinds. These people 
have hitherto been heathen, but some of them have now become 
Christians; I speak of those who dwell near the castle, for the 
merchants come from far and have not the same intercourse 
with us as these neighbours and accordingly continue in their 

1 The Ebrid tribes of the Ivory Coast (?). 

1 The Atti£ tribes located inland from the Ebri< tribes (?). 

5 I.e. the Akans who at the present time inhabit both Gold Coast and 
Ashanti territory (vide A. W. Cardinall, The Gold Coast, 1931, p. 9). 

4 The natives of the Bour£ gold-mining region in the upper Niger (?). 

5 Vide book 1, chap. 24, p. 73 note. 

‘ I cannot find this name, even in a modified form, either in geographical 
or in ethnographical sources. 

1 The Susu (or Soso or Soussou) peoples of the Fouta Djallon Mountains 
(vide M. Delafosse, op. cit. p. 55 et passim). 



false idolatry. The profit of this trade is five for one, or more, 
but the country is much subject to fever, and white men often 
die here. The latitude of this castle is 5 0 30' N of the Equator 1 * * , 
and on a clear night one can see the Pole Star elevated the same 
number of degrees above the horizon. For a clearer under¬ 
standing we have given here a painting from sight of the castle, 
as it appears at the present time. Here there is an abundance 
of fish, upon which the negroes live’, but they keep few cattle; 
however, there are many wild beasts such as ounces, elephants, 
buffaloes, gazelles and many other kinds, and also birds of 
various kinds, some of them being very beautiful. The negroes 
in this country go about naked, save for a loin-cloth or a piece 
of striped cloth, which they consider a very noble garment. They 
live on millet and palm-wine 3 (though they prefer our wine) 
with fish and a little game*. Our lord the King sends out yearly 
twelve small vessels laden with merchandise; these bring back 
to this realm the gold which the factor of his Highness obtains 
there by barter. Besides these vessels, three or four ships go 
out laden with provisions, wine and other articles which are 
needed there. The merchants who bring the gold to this fortress 
bring no asses or beasts of burden to carry away the merchandise, 
which they buy for three times and more its value in Portugal. 
Our people who are sent out by the most serene King in his 
ships buy slaves* 200 leagues beyond the casde,by* rivers where 
there is a very large city called Beny 4 5 , whence they are brought 
thither [to Mina?]. What we have said of this is sufficient for 
our purpose, [which] solely concerns the commerce* of our lord 
the King 5 . 

1 Actually 5 0 os' N. 

* The text is either slightly corrupt or has small lacunae at these points. 

s Vide Roger Barlow, op. cit. p. 106, for a description of the method of 
collecting and making this wine. 

* Vide book n, chap. 7. 

5 Judging from Pacheco’s reference higher up to a painting of the castle 
of La Mina it would seem as though the copyist forgot to insert the words 
" aqui maps ” at this juncture. 


Chapter vi 

Concerning the routes and landmarks beyond the 
Castle of S. Jorze da Mina. 

We may well speak of the things of Ethiopia since we have seen 
them, for before we had experience of them it was only with 
great difficulty that we could believe what some writers related 
concerning them. Since we have described the coast in due 
order, together with some part of the interior, we will proceed 
on our way and inform our readers how that three leagues beyond 
the Castle of S. Jorze at the end of the bay there is a promontory 
which we call Cabo do Cor^o 1 ; its extremity is round and has 
a single tree on it, which can only be seen when one is near the 
shore. It can be seen in our drawing of the castle given above. 

Item. Twenty leagues beyond Cabo do Cor£0 is a pro¬ 
montory which we call Cabo das Redes 2 , because of the many 
nets that were found here when this land was discovered. This 
is the last place on this coast where we know that there is gold, 
and it is much finer gold than that which the merchants take 
to be bartered at Mina. The inhabitants of Cabo das Redes take 
yearly ten or twelve thousand doubloons of this gold to barter 
at the Castle of S. Jorze; five to six thousand doubloons of it is 
gold of 23 carats, one carat finer than the other gold there. 
Cabo do Cor9o and Cabo das Redes lie SW by W and NE by E, 
and they occupy twenty leagues of the route. All the country 
between these two capes is fairly high and mountainous; midway 
along there are three fishing settlements, Fante 3 the Greater, 
Fante the Less and Sabuu the Less. At the end of this rough 
hill country lies Cabo das Redes. The negroes of this country 
speak the same language as those of Mina, and their word for 
gold is “vyqua.” 

Item. As soon as you have passed the high country in which 
Cabo das Redes is located the land becomes very low again and 

1 I.e. Queen Anne Point. 

* Fetta Point (vide Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 345). 

5 Fetta, located at the head of Fetta Bay. 



the littoral is entirely composed of beach. Five leagues inland 
a single high mountain 1 rises from the lowland: it is the land¬ 
mark for Cabo das Redes and we call it “ Pam de Nao.” Twenty 
leagues beyond this mountain is the Rio da Volta 3 , which is 
fairly large. Cabo das Redes and this river lie E and W. This 
coast is densely wooded, but in the flat country the woodland 
is sparse and thin, growing in clumps. This region is called 
Mumu. The negroes of this country are evil and eat men, and 
hitherto we have had no traffic with them. 

Chapter vii 

Concerning the country beyond Rio da Volta. 

Item. From Rio da Volta, about which we have spoken 
above, to Cabo de S. Paulo^ is ten leagues; they lie NW by W 
and SE by E. The land in the neighbourhood of this cape is 
very low and has a long spit of sand running far out into the sea. 
He who leaves Mina for this part should stand three or four 
leagues out to sea from Cabo do Cor90 and sail ENE and he 
will come to the Rio da Volta, forty-five leagues along the route. 

Item. Cabo de S. Paulo and Rio do Laguo 4 lie ENE and 
WSW and occupy sixty-five leagues of the route. All the country 
between them is very low 5 , with clumps of woodland, and the 
shore is composed entirely of beach. There are on this coast 
certain villages, trees and landmarks which some books of 
navigation mention, but I omit them because they are difficult 
to recognise. The pilot who sails from Mina to the Rio do Laguo 
should make for Cabo de S. Paulo and then sail ENE along the 
coast; in this way he will make this river’s mouth, which is very 
small. The channel has two fathoms at high tide, but its entrance 

1 Akem Peak (?) (vide Africa Pilot , Part I, p. 345). 

* It is still called by this name. 

3 I.e. Cape St Paul. Cf. Africa Pilot, Part 1, p. 354. 

4 This is not so much a river as a passage “6 miles long connecting Lagos 
lagoon with the sea ” (vide Africa Pilot, Part 1, p. 360). 

5 Cf. ibid. p. 351. 



is very dangerous, with shallows of sand on which the sea breaks 
during the greater part of the year, so that the channel is scarcely 
seen; only small vessels of thirty to thirty-five tons can enter it. 
Once inside the mouth it broadens out into a great lake over 
two leagues wide and as many long. Twelve or thirteen leagues 
up this river is a very large city called Geebuu x , surrounded by 
a great moat. The river of this country in our time is called 
Agusale*, and the trade is mainly in slaves (who are sold for 
twelve or fifteen brass bracelets each) but there is some ivory. 
The latitude of the river is y c 45' N of the Equator*. 

Item. Rio do Laguo and Rio Primeiro lie W by N and E by S 
and occupy twenty-five leagues of the route. Rio Primeiro 4 has 
a fairly wide mouth half a league across, with a dense wood on 
its SE side. Four leagues beyond this river are three canals, 
and the coast of these canals along the sea to the Rio Primeiro 
is all mud, there being no sand. This country yields no trade 
or profit. The w'hole of the territory from the aforesaid Rio do 
Laguo to this Rio Primeiro and for more than a 100 leagues? 
beyond is intersected by many other rivers, so that it is cut into 
islands. It is greatly subject to fever and is very hot throughout 
nearly the whole of the year, because it is so near the orb of the 
sun; the principal winter season falls in the months of August 
and September, when there is much rain 6 . The negroes of this 

* I-c. Abeokuta, situated 36 miles up the Ogun River, which drains into 
the Lagos lagoon. Cf. R. Burton’s description in Abeokuta and the Camaroom 
Mountains, pp. 69-70. 

* I.e. Ogun River. 

3 The mouth of the lagoon is 6° 35' N. 

4 The Africa Pilot speaks of no river between the entrance to the Lagos 
lagoon and Benin River. There are, however, one or two openings into this 
lagoon which runs parallel to this stretch of coast. 

5 This is approximately the width of the Niger Delta (vide Africa Pilot, 
Part 1, p. 368). 

6 scasons the year in this country are divisible into “dry” and 
wet rather than into summer and winter. December, January, February 

and March are the driest months and, as is commonly the case in tropical 
latitudes, the driest months are the hottest. At Lagos the mean monthly 
temperature for these months is 8i° F., the rainfall aggregate being 8 in. out 
of a total of 72 in. per annum. The season of heavy rains begins towards the 
end of April and continues until October, more than 50 per cent of the annual 
amount falling in the three months of May, June and July. The lowest mean 
monthly temperature is recorded in August (75 7 0 F.), by which month the 
cooling influence of the rains is at its maximum. 


* 2 5 

country are idolaters and arc circumcised without having any 
law or reason for their circumcision, but as these matters are 
irrelevant we will not write of them. 

Item. Beyond the Rio Primeiro is the Rio Fermoso 1 ; they 
lie NW and SE and occupy five leagues of the route. (Of another 
small river here I do not speak as it is unnecessary.) The mouth 
of the Rio Fermoso is very large, over a league across from 
point to point. The country to the SE of it has a grove of trees 
so even in height that no one tree seems higher than another; 
inside its mouth on the right is a very tall, branching tree which 
greatly overtops the rest, and beyond this tree are two other 
trees equally tall. The mouth of this river is shallow and full of 
hidden rocks; the depth is nowhere greater than two fathoms 
and two spans; the bottom is all loose mud, so that a ship can 
stay at half a fathom without receiving injury. This shallow 
extends into the sea nearly two leagues, and the entrance and 
the channel are along the shore to the left; when you are inside 
the points where the channel is narrowest, beyond a sandy beach 
on the right, you can anchor at the mouth of a large canal there, 
in eight fathoms. By this channel towards the sea is a village 
called Teebuu* and on the other side arc some more villages. 
A league up this river on the left two tributaries enter the main 
stream: if you ascend the second of these for twelve leagues you 
find a town called Huguatoo?, of some 2,000 inhabitants; this 
is the harbour of the great city of Beny, which lies nine leagues 
in the interior with a good road [between them]. Small ships 
of fifty tons can go as far as Huguatoo. This city is about a 
league long from gate to gate; it has no wall but is surrounded 
by a large moat, very wide and deep, which suffices for its 
defence. I was there four times. Its houses are made of mud- 

1 I.e. Benin River {vide Africa Pilot, Part I, pp. 369 et seq.). 

* The Africa Pilot speaks of numerous riparian settlements, but their 
identification with Teebuu is uncertain. S. Pimentel {op. cit. p. 284) calls it 
Atambane. Fishtown is the most important native village in this vicinity 

5 I.e. Gwato (6° 11' N., 5° 23' E.), the Gurte of John Pory, op. cit. p. 78. 
Its prosperity appears to have declined with the abolition of the slave trade, 
for when R. Burton visited it in 1862 Gwato only contained “from 20 to 30 
inhabitations, mostly ruinous but sometimes showing traces of former 
splendour" (“My Wanderings in West Africa," Fraser’s Magazine, 1863, 
P- 275)- 



walls covered with palm leaves. The kingdom of Beny is about 
eighty leagues long and forty wide 1 ; it is usually at war with its 
neighbours and takes many captives, whom we buy at twelve 
or fifteen brass bracelets each, or for copper bracelets which they 
prize more 1 ; from there the slaves are brought to the castle of 
S. Jorze da Mina where they are sold for gold. The way of life 
of these people is full of abuses and witchcraft and idolatry, 
which for brevity’s sake I omit. 

Item. A hundred leagues to the east of this kingdom of Beny 
in the interior we know of a land which in our time has a king 
called Licosaguou 3 ; he is said to be lord of many peoples and 
very powerful. Close by is another great lord of the name of 
Hooguanee 4 , who among the negroes is as the Pope among us. 
In these lands there is black pepper much stronger than that 
of India*; its grain is almost of the same size, but whereas the 

1 Cf. O. Dapper, Naukeurige Beschrijvinge der Afrikaensche Getcesten, 
1668, book II, p. 122. “How far the Kingdom of Benin extends from south 
to north is as yet unknown, as some places lie at a great distance from each 
other, being separated by impenetrable forests, but from east to west, it 
measures about a hundred (Dutch) miles.” Barbot, writing later, in 1732, 
says: “ its extent from north to south must be near 200 leagues and its breadth 
from east to west about 125 leagues. (A Description of the Coasts of North 
and South Guinea, p. 356). 

* Bracelets (“manilha” in Portuguese) still form a medium of change in 
some parts of Benin. “It is said that in some cases the natives are so parti¬ 
cular that they test the manilha by its sound when struck together, which they 
do behind the traders’ backs and that therefore the mixing of the metal has 
to be carefully attended to” (H. L. Roth, Great Benin: Its Customs, Arts and 
Horrors, p. 5, note). 

3 According to Dapper (op. cit. book II, p. 121) the kingdom of Benin was 
bounded on the east by the kingdoms of Istonna and Forkado or Ouwerre. 

* The Ogan6 of John Alfonso de Aveiro (vide Barros, op. cit. Decade I, 
book III, chap. 4 ). The account which he brought back from Benin of this 
monarch tallied so well with the stories of Prester John which had been brought 
to the peninsula by Abyssinian priests that the king, John II, immediately 
began to plan how he might get into direct touch with Ogand, for he saw how 
greatly his double object of spreading the Christian faith and extending his 
commerce by opening the road to the Indies would be furthered by an 
alliance with such a sovereign. Accordingly he determined that both by land 
and sea attempts should be made to reach his country. The expeditions of 
Bartholomew Dias and of Pedro de Covilham were the result. 

} Barros (op. cit. Decade 1 , book III, chap. 3 ) describes the pepper of Benin 
thus: “tailed pepper [so called] because it is different from that which comes 
from India.. .having attached to it part of the peduncle on which it grows.” 
It is actually the dried fruit of Piper Clusii, a plant widely distributed in 
tropical Africa. 



Indian grain is wrinkled the surface of this pepper is smooth. 
In the mountains and woods of this region dwell savage men 
whom the negroes of Beny call “oosaa.” They are very strong 
and are covered with bristles like pigs; their nature is entirely 
human except that instead of speaking they shout 1 . I have heard 
their shouts at night and possess the skin of one of these savages. 
In this country there are many elephants whose tusks, or ivory 
as we call it, we often buy; there are also many ounces and other 
wild beasts, likewise birds of kinds so different from those of our 
Europe that on the first discovery of this country those who saw 
these things and related them were not believed, until the ex¬ 
perience of those who came here later induced belief. A hundred 
leagues upstream towards the source of the Rio Fermoso is a 
negro country called Opuu a . Here there is much pepper and 
ivory and some slaves. The latitude of Rio Fermoso is 7 0 north 
of the Equator^; the tide flows NW and SE, contrary to those 
of Spain. The people of Beny and its neighbourhood are branded 
with a line above the eyebrows*; it is their distinguishing mark 
as none of the other negroes have it. 

Chapter viii 

of the second book of the Esmeraldo De Situ Orbis. 

This description of Ethiopia has brought us two liabilities; in 
the first place the amount of time spent in exploring these 
provinces and lands which have entailed so much illness and 

* Vide note on book I, chap. 33. 

1 Possibly one of the kingdoms of which Dapper speaks: "the kingdom of 
Benin.. .is bordered to the NW by the kingdoms of Ulkami, Jaboe, Isago 
and Oedobo; to the north by that of Gaboe, situated about an eight days’ 
journey above the great town of Benin” (op. cit. book II, p. 121). 

3 Actually its mouth is 5 0 46' N. 

4 Cf. Richard Burton’s account. In writing of the tribal marks of the 
people of Benin he says: " the general mark was a tattoo of three parallel cuts 
about long and placed close together upon both checks.... Some added 
to these.. .vertical lines of similar marks above the eyebrows.. (op. cit. 
p. 411). 



ill-rewarded labour 1 ; in the second place the great toil of com¬ 
posing this work dealing with what we have seen in these lands. 
Therefore we must needs follow the order of the coast and 
describe the rivers, bearing witness to what we have seen and 
our witness is true. 

Item. Five leagues beyond Rio Fermoso is a river with a 
fairly large mouth, which we call Rio dos Escravos 3 . Two slaves 
were obtained by barter there when it was discovered; hence its 
name. This river has shallows of hard sand running out nearly 
a league into the sea, with two and a half fathoms of water over 
them and three fathoms at the deepest. It is a very dangerous 
place, and a prudent man will avoid it; there is neither trade 
here nor anything else worthy of mention, so that we need not 
waste time in speaking of it. 

Item. Five leagues beyond Rio dos Escravos is another river 
called Rio dos Forcados 3 ; its name is due to the fact that when 
it was discovered many large birds were found here with tails 
forked like those of swallows. This river has a large mouth, and 
to the NW it has a sand shallow with about two fathoms of water, 
and on the SE it has a shoal of rock on which the sea breaks; in 
between these is the channel, which has a mud bottom, with 
three and a half fathoms, and at high tide four fathoms. He who 
has to enter here should keep closer to the shallows on the SE 
than to those on the NW in order to enter in safety. The tide 
of this river flows NW by W and SE by E; its latitude is 5° 10' N 4 . 
To the SE there is a large wood, its landmark being two trees 
taller than the rest. Whoever enters this river will find that it 
branches to the right and to the left; five leagues up the left 
branch is a place of barter 3 , which consists chiefly of slaves and 
cotton cloths, with some panther skins, palm-oil and some blue 
shells with red stripes which they call “ coris.” These and other 
things we buy there for brass and copper bracelets; they are all 

1 The translation of this paragraph is of necessity rather free as the text 
is very corrupt. 

1 Cf. Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 374. 

3 The Forcados River is the most useful and accessible distributary of the 
Niger Delta. 

* The latitude of Hughes Point, which defines the entrance on the north 
side, is 5° 27' N. 

3 Probably Warri or some place in the vicinity. 


I2 9 

valuable at the castle of S. Jorze da Mina, where the King’s 
factor sells them to the negro merchants for gold. The inhabitants 
along this river are called Huela. Farther in the interior is 
another country called Subou 1 , which is densely populated; here 
there is a fair amount of pepper of the kind we described almost 
at the end of the fifth paragraph of the seventh chapter. 
Beyond these dwell other negroes called Jos J , who own a large 
country; they are a warlike people and cannibals. The principal 
trade of this country is in slaves and some ivory. All these 
regions are very hot, because they are near the Equator. The 
rivers are rife with fever and very unhealthy for white men, 
especially in the winter of this land, which begins in the month 
of May and lasts till the end of September, when there is much 
rain; it is especially heavy in August, which is the depth of 
winter [sic] throughout Ethiopia. During this season and in 
some other months of the year there are great storms of thunder 
and wind. The pilot who sees such a storm approaching his ship 
should furl sail, for, if he does not, the furious wind these 
thunderstorms bring with them will either send his ship to the 
bottom or break its mast and rigging and carry away the sails. 
He who would sail from Mina to the Rio dos Forcados should 
sail E by N; in this way he will make the Rio Fermoso, which is 
ten leagues on this side of the Rio dos Forcados, and from there 
he must coast along the shore, for it is a very difficult country 
to distinguish. This is the direct route from Mina to this region 
[keeping] outside the bay, and it occupies 170 leagues of the 

Item. Five leagues beyond Rio dos Forcados is another river 
called Rio dos Ramos*; the mouth of this river is as large as that 

1 I.c. the Sobo country. R. Burton describes it as comprising wide lands 
north and northeast of Warri: “the word applies to the greatest part of the 
country between Abo on the Niger, the Wari River and the southern branch 
of the Benin which bounds it on the north...” ( Fraser's Magazine, 1863, 
P- 145 ). 

* I.e. the Ejos or Ejomen, popularly called Joemen—“ a large and influential 
tribe [inhabiting] the banks of the Escravos, Broder, Forcados, Ramos and 
Dodo Rivers extending to the Nun and Brass Rivers... .They are almost 
always at war with the Jakri men, because like these, they trade for oil to the 
Sobo country...” (R. Burton, Fraser's Magazine, 1863, pp. 145-6). T. J. 
Hutchinson (Ten Years' Wanderings among the Ethiopians, p. 61) calls them 
cannibals. 5 Cf. Africa Pilot, Part X, p. 383. 





of Rio dos Forcados or larger, but it is shallow throughout, with 
less than two fathoms, the sea breaking frequently along the 
whole of this bay. Ships making for Rio dos Forcados have 
suffered wreck here, for they passed Rio dos Forcados without 
recognising it and entered Rio dos Ramos mistaking it for the 
other and were wrecked on the bar. The inhabitants of this 
country are called Jos and are cannibals, as we have said. There 
has been no trade here so far, nor do we know if there is any 
possibility of trade. All this country is densely populated and 
thickly wooded; the interior is intersected by other rivers and 
all the land of this river and of Rio dos Forcados is formed 
into islands, the inhabitants communicating by canoes made of 
a single trunk. 

Item. Rio dos Ramos and Cabo Fermoso 1 * * lie NNW and 
SSE and occupy twelve leagues of the route. All the country 
between the cape and the river is very low and sparsely 
populated. Cabo Fermoso has a very low spit* which runs out 
to sea in a curving fashion a good five leagues. In the months 
of July and August the currents flow past here with such force? 
that a ship coming here in these months should keep far out 
from land if it is making for Mina, for it will find it impossible 
to sail along the coast owing to the strength of the currents 
flowing SE. The two sure landmarks of this cape are firstly, that 
this part of the coast trends east and west for a good fifty leagues, 
and secondly, that its latitude is 5 0 50' N 4 . 

1 “ Cape Fonnoso is the name applied to the wooded tract on the eastern 
aide of Nun River entrance forming the southern extension of the delta of 
the Niger, of which Palm Point is the extreme ” (Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 403). 
Pacheco is considerably out in his reckoning of the distance between Ramos 
River and Cape Fonnoso: according to the Pilot figures it is at least 80 miles 
(i.e. 26 leagues approximately—Portuguese fashion). 

1 I.e. Nun bar—"one of the worst bars of the Niger delta, probably owing 
to its geographical position, the coast line here changing its direction sharply, 
rendering the bar fully exposed to the westward as well as to the southward.... 
The bar is composed of a semi-circular belt of sand connecting the western 
and eastern spits, which extend southward from the entrance points of the 
river" (Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 386). 

5 Cf. Africa Pilot, Part t, pp. 34, 46. 

4 Actually 4 0 16' N. 


Chapter ix 

Concerning the routes , landmarks and degrees 
[of latitudes] beyond Cabo Fermoso. 

Since we have undertaken the heavy task of describing the 
benefits conferred by past princes on the Kingdoms of Portugal 
by the discovery of Ethiopia, which was before totally unknown 
to us, we consider ourselves obliged to finish the work we have 
begun, in spite of railers, back-biters and slanderers who blame 
what is well done and are unable to do anything well themselves; 
but we will continue our work and leave them to be consumed 
in their envy. 

Item. We have already stated that the coast for fifty leagues 
beyond Cabo Fermoso trends east and west. He who arrives 
here going east will, at a distance of a league and a half from the 
shore, find only eight or ten fathoms and a mud bottom. Six 
or seven leagues beyond this cape is a river which has not a very 
large mouth, called Rio de Sam Bento*. Beyond it is another 
river called Sant’ Ilefonso 1 ; five leagues [beyond 3 ] is the Rio 
de Santa Barbara 4 , and six leagues beyond this is another river 
called Rio Pcqueno 5 . These four rivers are rather small and we 
have not hitherto traded in them; we only know that their 
inhabitants arc called Jos and are cannibals. This coast lies in the 
same parallel as Cabo Fermoso, that is, east and west. 

Item. Eight leagues beyond Rio Pequeno to the east is a very 
large river called Rio Real 6 , the mouth of which is five leagues 
across. This river in our time has two entrances. One of these 
is in the middle of its mouth between two sand-spits and follows 
a north-south direction; it is a gunshot in width and at its 
deepest has 3^ fathoms at high tide. Sailing thence inland to 
a village on the SE shore you will find seven and eight fathoms. 

Item. The other entrance [to this river 7 ] lies beyond and 

* Brass River (?). * St Nicholas River (?). 

5 Lacuna: only the word we have inserted, or its equivalent, seems to be 
missing, however. 

4 Cf. Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 408. 5 Sombreiro River (?). 

6 I.e. the combined estuary of the New Calabar and Bonny Rivers. 

7 Lacuna: it seems only to require the words we have inserted. 



runs NW and SE; it is a good league wide and any ship can tack 
against the wind here and proceed in five or six fathoms to a 
bank of sand almost in the centre of the bay, where there are 
three fathoms; this is the shallowest place. To sail in from here 
you must make for a sand-spit on the right and within this spit 
you can anchor opposite the mouth of a creek in twelve fathoms 
at a quarter of a league from the shore. The latitude of this river 
is 5^ north 1 * 3 ; the castle of S. Jorac da Mina and this river lie on 
the same parallel of latitude, that is, east and west. 

Item. The people of this river are called Jos, being the same 
as those of whom we spoke above, and they are all cannibals. At 
the mouth of this river within the creek above mentioned is a 
very large village of some 2,000 inhabitants 5 , where much salt is 
made. The bigger canoes here, made from a single trunk, are 
the largest in the Ethiopias of Guinea; some of them are large 
enough to hold eighty men, and they come from a hundred 
leagues or more up this river bringing yams in large quantities, 
which, in this district, are very good and nourishing; they also 
bring many slaves, cows, goats and sheep. Sheep they call 
"bozy.” They sell all this [merchandise] to the natives of the 
village for salt, and our ships buy these things for copper 
bracelets, which are here greatly prized—more than those of 
brass; for eight or ten bracelets you can obtain one slave. The 
negroes of this country are all naked, wearing only copper neck¬ 
laces an inch thick; they carry daggers like those of the white 
Moors of Berbery. They are warlike and are rarely at peace. 

Item. Three leagues beyond Rio Real is a small river called 
Rio de S. Domingos^; and four leagues beyond this is another 
river, very small, called after Pero dc Sintra 4 . Three leagues 
farther on are two very small rivers, but as there is no trade 
there I will not name them. 

1 Fouche Point, which bounds the estuary on the west, is 4® 24' N. 

* Bonny (?). 

3 Andoni River (?). 

4 By its location it appears to be identifiable with the Opobo (or Imo) River, 

but it is by no means a small river, for its mouth is ii miles wide. It is to be 
noticed that from this point onwards Pacheco's description of the coast 
becomes very much less detailed. For instance, in passing from this river to 
the Cameroons River he says nothing about the intervening 100 miles of 
coast line which includes such large rivers as the Calabar and Rio del Rcy. 


Chapter x 

Concerning the Serra de Fernam do Poo. 

Three things chiefly are to be regarded in the description of a 
land; first, the landmarks and shape of the coast, so that it may 
be recognised: and if it cannot be recognised by this first means, 
doubts may be removed by the second, namely, the trend of the 
coast one is in search of, whether north and south or east and 
west or NE and SW, for if the direction of the land then met 
with is the same as that sought for, then they will be one and 
the same. If this method of identification fails, then observe the 
degrees of latitude of the place encountered, whether they be 
north or south of the Equator, and if they tally, both those 
of the place you are in and of the place you are seeking, then 
the degrees being all one and the landmarks 1 being in agreement, 
you will know for certain where you are. Because this island 
with its mountain range is five leagues beyond the last of the 
four rivers of which we spoke and because it is of a different 
shape from anything in the whole of Guinea, we have placed a 
picture of it here. And from Cabo Fermoso, as we have said in 
the first paragraph of the ninth chapter of this second book, the 
coast runs east and west. This mountain and island were dis¬ 
covered by Fernam do Poo, a knight of the household of King 
Afonso V, and received the name of its discoverer 2 ; it is situated 
4° north of the Equator. This mountain is very high and in 
clear weather it can be seen twenty-five and thirty leagues away?. 

* Lacuna. 

* Jolo dc Santarem and Pedro d’Escobar, knights of King Alfonso’s house¬ 
hold who went out in 1470, on Fem 3 o Gomes’s account, to explore the coast 
beyond Cape Palmas, discovered, so it is generally believed, the Islands of 
S. Thom6, Anno Bom and Principe: whether Ilha Formosa, discovered by 
Fernam do Po, whose name it afterwards received, was discovered then or, 
as some have supposed, in i486 during Jo 5 o Alfonso d’Aveiro’s expedition 
to the King of Benin, we possess no evidence to show. The fact that Pacheco 
calls him a “knight of the household of King Afonso V” suggests that the 
discovery' was prior to the year of that king’s death, namely 1481. 

1 Santa Isabel peak (10,190' above sea level) “is visible from westward 
on a clear day, or after a tornado, at a distance of 100 miles, but generally 
the weather is so hazy that it is obscured beyond quite a short distance ” 
(Africa Pilot, Part H, p. 65, 8th edition). 



The island at the mouth of this bay 1 is densely populated and 
grows a lot of sugar-cane; the mainland is five leagues distant. 
A ship coming to this land for anchorage will be in 15 fathoms 
a half a league from the shore. Slaves may be bartered here for 
eight or ten copper bracelets apiece. In this country there are 
many large elephants, whose tusks (which we call ivory) we buy, 
a large tusk for a copper bracelet; in addition there is here a fair 
abundance of malagueta, of a good and fine quality. Ethiopia 
has many things which yield a good profit when brought to 
Portugal. The inhabitants of this land 3 are called “ Caaboo 3 ,” 
and fifty leagues inland is a.. . 4 language called “ Bota.” 

A gut map a. 

Item. All the sea-coast from this Serra de Femam do Poo 
to Cabo de Lopo Gonfalvez?, a distance of eighty leagues, is 
densely populated and thickly wooded. The sea is very deep, 
thirty and forty fathoms half a league from the shore, and 
contains many whales and other fish. This country is very near 
the Equator, which the ancients declared to be uninhabitable 
but experience has shown us that this is not so. 

Item. Two leagues beyond this Serra de Femam do Poo to 
the NE is the Rio dos CamarSes 6 , where there is good fishing, 
but we have not yet had any trade with the natives of this 
locality. Great tornadoes accompanied by very violent winds 
are experienced on this coast, and as a safeguard you should furl 
sail while they last?. 

Item. Twenty leagues S by E from the mouth of the Rio dos 
Camar5es is the Serra Guerreira 8 , which extends for rather more 
than a league in length, half a league from the coast. All this 
country is well-wooded and its latitude is 3^° N of the Equator. 

’ I.e. Bight of Biafra. * I.e. the mainland. 

5 These people and their neighbours, the Bota, are probably members of 
the Bantu race inhabiting the Cameroons country along with the so-called 

4 Text corrupt. The original may have contained something as follows: 
**.. .another people, called in their language ‘ Bota.”' 

5 I.e. Cape Lopez, the southern limit of the Bight of Biafra. 

* I.e. Cameroons River. 7 Cf. Africa Pilot, Part I, p. 36. 

1 The Mount Elephant range (?). It is located approximately 3 0 N. and 
60 miles S. by E. of Cameroons River, but is about 8 miles inland and some 
17 miles long. 



Item. Twenty-five leagues beyond the Serra Guerreira to 
the SE is another range, much smaller, and low, called Serra 
Bota 1 , but, although its population is fairly dense, we have not 
as yet heard of any trade there. 

Item. Beyond Serra Bota is a small bay surrounded by woods 
and at its mouth there is a small low-lying island called Corisco 3 . 
The distance between the Serra and this bay is twenty leagues, 
the route lying N by E and S by W. The island is almost joined 
to the mainland. 

Item. Seventeen leagues beyond the island of Corisco is a 
fairly large river having nine fathoms of water at its mouth and 
in its channel. It is called Rio do GuabamS. This river runs far 
inland and brings down a great quantity of fresh water and its 
territory is densely populated, but we have no knowledge of any 
trade with the negroes of this or in the preceding countries. This 
river and the island of Corisco lie N by E and S by W. 

Chapter xi 

The routes and landmarks from Rio do Guabam to Cabo 
de Caterina, which is also called Cabo Primeiro. 

Experience has disabused us of the errors and fictions which 
some of the ancient cosmographers were guilty of in their 
description of land and sea; for they declared that all the 
equatorial country was uninhabitable on account of the heat of 
the sun. We have proved this to be false, for beyond the Rio do 
Guabam, of which we spoke in the preceding paragraph, is a 
low promontory which we call Cabo de Lopo Gonfalvez 4 after 

1 The Seven Hills (?). Actually these hills rise to a greater elevation than 
Mount Elephant, 2800 ft. as against 1700 ft.; the fact that they are situated 
15 miles inland, however, may help to account for Pacheco's statement about 
their being much smaller and lower than Serra Guerreira. 

* Cf. Africa Pilot, Part u, p. 119. The name “corisco” (meaning “light¬ 
ning ”) was doubtless conferred upon the bay on account of the frequency of 
thunderstorms in this locality. 

5 I.e. Gabon River, which is more of an estuary than a river. 

4 Cape Lopez is actually the northern extremity of Lopez (or Mandji) 
Island, formed by two of the mouths of the Ogowd River. 


the name of the captain who discovered it; this cape and the 
Rio do Guabam lie SW and S and NE by N and occupy twenty- 
seven leagues of the route. This Cabo de Lopo Gon^alvez is 
exactly on the Equator 1 and it is densely populated by negroes, 
as densely as in any part of the world. During many years of 
navigation and exploration of this part of the Ethiopias of Guinea 
we have in many places taken the degrees of latitude, and we have 
found that the Equator passes exactly over this promontory and 
that the days and nights here are equal or with so little difference 
between them as to be scarcely noticeable. Many of the ancients 
said that two lands lying east and west of one another would 
both have the same degrees of the sun and would be in all things 
alike; as to their equal share of sun this is true, but such is the 
variety employed by the majesty of great Nature in her creative 
work that we find from experience that the inhabitants of this 
promontory of Lopo Gon9alvez and of the rest of Guinea are 
very black, whereas the inhabitants of the same latitudes beyond 
the Ocean to the west are brown, almost white. These are the 
inhabitants of Brazil, of whom we spoke in the second chapter 
of our first book. If any should aver that they are white because 
of the many forests which protect them from the sun, I would 
answer that there are as many and as dense forests in this eastern 
side of the Guinea* Ocean; and if they should say that the 
inhabitants of Guinea are black because they are naked and the 
inhabitants of Brazil white because they wear clothes, I answer 
that Nature has given them an equal privilege in this, for they 
are all naked as when they were bom; so that we may say that 
the sun affects them equally. And now it only remains to know 
if they are both descended from Adam. 

Item. Sixty leagues out to sea WNW from Cabo de Lopo 
Gon^lvez is the island of Sam Thom6 3 , which was discovered 

1 o° 40' S. in reality. 

1 I.e. Southern Atlantic. 

5 The island of S. Thomi lies between the parallels of o° 24' N. and 
o° 01' S. and between the meridians of 6° 28' E. and 6° 46' E.: it is 128 miles 
westnorthwest of Cape Lopez, the nearest point on the African mainland. 
Although the island is well cultivated to-day, dense forests still clothe the 
mountain ranges which radiate from the centre of the island. The luxuriance 
of the vegetation is largely the resultant of heavy rainfall, continuously high 
temperatures and rich volcanic soils. 

s. thom£ island 


at the bidding of the most serene King John II of Portugal, who 
ordered it to be peopled. This island is some fifteen leagues long 
and eight leagues wide, and is situated i° N of the Equator. On 
the north it has a large bay in which ships of any size can anchor. 
This island has the most beautiful tall dense forests in the whole 
of the Ethiopias of Guinea, and many good springs and streams 
of water. This island also has by far the best sugar-canes grown 
anywhere and many very good orange, lemon and citron trees, 
in addition to other trees which flourish here. Here, too, there 
are many large man-eating crocodiles, both in the streams and 
in the sea; there are also vipers, with black backs and white 
bellies, of the thickness of a man’s leg and long in proportion, 
and these are exceedingly poisonous 1 . I think that if you wished 
to plant mulberry trees here and grow silkworms they would 
do exceptionally well. 

Item. To the NNE of the island of Sam Thom£ is another 
smaller island called Sant’ Antonio or Principe*, twenty-five 
leagues distant by sea. It lies 3 0 N of the Equator. This island 
also was discovered and peopled by King John II; it is very like 
the island of Sam Thom6 in character, except that it has not its 

Item. Twenty-three leagues beyond Cabo de Lopo Gonsalvez 
is a small river called Rio das Barreiras 3 which lies NW by N 
and SE by S with respect to the said Cape and i° 12' south of 
the Equator. We do not know if any profit is to be made here, 
as the river is very small and shallow and no ships enter its 
mouth. The negroes of this land are all heathens and idolaters 
and not given to commerce; they live on meat, millet and 

Item. Twenty leagues beyond the Rio das Barreiras one finds 
a small low-lying promontory called Cabo de Caterina 4 ; this 

* The Gaboon viper. “Of all serpents, this representative of Africa’s 
excessively stout vipers is the most sinister ” (R. L. Ditmars, The Snakes of the 
World, Plate 47). Its normal length is about 6 or 7 ft. and its under-markings 
are light compared with those on its back (vide F. Angel, Les Serpents de 
VAfrique Occidentale Franfaise, pp. 203-4). 

* Now called by the latter name, the former being reserved for one of the 
most important bays in the island. It lies between i° 42' N. and x° 32' N. 

3 One of the numerous distributaries of the Ogowi River (?). 

4 I.e. Cape St Catherine, discovered in 1470/1. 


*3 8 

name was given it by Ruy de Siqueyra, a knight of the household 
of King Afonso V, who discovered it on St Catherine s day, 
which is the 25th day of November. This cape and the Rio das 
Barreiras lie NW by N and SE by S and the land here is low 
and well-wooded. Beyond this cape the coast, which takes an 
almost eastsoutheast turn, forms a bay which extends for five 
leagues. This promontory is 4 0 30' south of the Equator 1 . Thus 
far extended the discoveries of the excellent prince, King 
Afonso V, and here our second book ends, and the third book 
begins, concerning the most serene prince, King John II of 
Portugal, his son. 

* Actually only x°S3' S. Pacheco obviously did not bother to check his 
linear reckonings against his astronomical, otherwise he would never have 
allowed his reading of 4 0 30' S. to stand, for this means that Cape St Catherine 
and Rio das Barreiras are some 3“ 18' apart (i.e. 60 leagues on his calculation), 
whereas he says that they are only 20 leagues apart. 


T he beginning of the third book of the 
Esmeraldo De Situ Orbis, concerning the dis¬ 
coveries of the most serene Prince , King John II of 
Portugal. Here follows , firstly , the Prologue. 

Writers who allow things worthy of remembrance to fall into 
oblivion deserve great blame; it is right therefore that we should 
record the high deserts of that prince whose glory deserves to 
be eternal. For among men bom of women singularly endowed 
with divine virtue there arose no man so excellent in his time 
as the late most serene prince, King John II of Portugal; and 
since the end of blessedness consists in virtues, his noble virtues 
of which he had his full share secured a glorious immortality 
for his excellent fame. Since our second book concerning King 
Afonso V is ended, we must now in this Prologue begin our third 
book, telling of the discoveries of the most serene King John. 
It is a heavy task, owing to the greatness of the prince whose 
deeds we hope to relate; his famous achievements, known and 
spread throughout the globe, should be related by those ancient 
fathers of eloquence and learning whose disciples all of us have 
been. But since I have been emboldened to undertake the 
task, I should not be censured by the learned, much less by 
mischievous back-biters and grumblers who in their malice 
habitually write books against books slandering and criticising 
things well done such as they could never have done themselves. 
But what can I say of this prince except that he was a Catholic 
after the divine pattern? He excelled in love both towards men 
of the highest and lowest estate, and his heart was continually 
with God and in him was fulfilled the saying of the most wise 
King Solomon that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of 
wisdom 1 .” In understanding and singular talent he excelled all 
the men of our time. He was the soul and essence of truth, so 

‘ Proverbs ix, io. 


that we believed in his word as in the Gospel. The beauty of his 
soul corresponded to the beauty of his bodily appearance; his 
knowledge and counsel seemed to be divine, so that he accom¬ 
plished great deeds. He knew also how to be liberal with 
discretion, guarding himself from the vices of avarice and 
prodigality. In all that he did he was great, and the strength of 
his heart is worthy of great praise, based as it was on an honest 
peace of mind of great power; he was esteemed by all the princes 
of Christendom as excelling in all his deeds, and equally by the 
Moors. When only sixteen he was knighted at the capture of 
Arzila, which the King, his father, took by force of arms from 
the Moors, but all the praise that can be ascribed to him must 
needs fall short of his great excellence. He ever maintained 
justice in his republic, over which he ruled as a loving shepherd, 
and his yoke was light 1 . His device was a pelican (which we have 
drawn here) plucking its breast to give its blood to its young. 
His motto was “Polla ley e Polla grey 3 ”; and he was consistent 
in all things. But I will say no more that I may not be blamed 
for prolixity, although prolixity when well employed is no bad 

“Polla ley e Polla grey.” 

Chapter i 

Concerning the discoveries of the most serene Prince , 
King John II of Portugal . 

Ancient writers greatly praised the navigation which Menelaus 
is said to have made from Calez to the Arabian Gulf and which 
Eudoxus also made from the same place to Calez and which 
Hanno of Carthage made from Spain to the Arabian Gulf, all 
three making the same voyage. Moreover, Pliny says, in the 
69th chapter^ of the second book of his Natural History, in which 

* Cf. St Matthew xi. 30. 1 I.e. “ For the law and for the people.” 

s Actually the 67th chapter. The passage, the sense of which Pacheco 
distorts, runs as follows: “ We learn from Cornelius Nepos, that one Eudoxus, 
a contemporary of his, when he was flying from King Lathyrus, set out from 
the Arabian Gulf, and was carried as far as Gades. And long before him, 
Caelius Antipater informs us that he had seen a person who had sailed from 
Spain to Ethiopia for the purposes of trade ” (Bostock and Riley’s translation). 


he quotes Celius Antipatcr and also Cornelius Nepos, that 
these men saw persons sail, for trading purposes, from Spain to 
Ethiopia or Guinea, which they considered a most notable 
achievement. But I say that, for all their knowledge of those 
parts, the best part of all these regions and provinces remained 
for us as virgin soil; for we have found out and know in great 
detail all the country of the Ethiopias of Guinea and India. In 
particular we have sailed along the coast and have many years’ 
experience of the way of life of the negroes of this region and 
of their trade and idolatries. In this we, the Portuguese, have 
excelled the ancients and modems in such wise that we may 
justly say that, compared with us, they knew nothing. This was 
due to the great intelligence of our princes mentioned in this 
book and the courage of their hearts, so that they spent their 
treasure in the discovery of these lands only to win immortal 
fame; with very happy results, for those who previously were 
ignorant of the faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ and were lost, 
body and soul, now through communication with us have know¬ 
ledge of it and are on the way to salvation, for many of the 
Ethiopians who have been brought to Portugal have become 
Christians and have received the water of holy baptism, so that 
they ought certainly to be saved. The worst drawback from the 
point of view of the composition of this work of ours is that it 
so happens that in the part discovered by the most serene King 
John the country from Cabo de Caterina is mostly deserted or 
if inhabited has little or no trade; had it been rich in trade as 
the preceding region I should have had much greater pleasure 
in describing the advantages to be derived from it. 

Item. Beyond Cabo de Caterina, which we mentioned in the 
last paragraph of the second book, are some fairly high red cliffs 
above the coast which extend for about a league along the shore 1 ; 
Cabo de Caterina lies with respect to these NW by W and SE 
by E and the intervening distance is twenty leagues. The latitude 
of these cliffs is 5 0 south. The country is densely wooded and 
thickly populated, and here there are many elephants and many 
other animals of various kinds. 

* The neighbourhood of Panga Point (?) (vide Africa Pilot, Part XI, 
P- X59)- 



Item. Twelve leagues beyond these red cliffs are two thickets 
above the coast, with exceptionally tall trees. The littoral is all 
beach and the coast rugged, the hinterland being neither very 
high nor very low, but of average elevation. The red cliffs and 
these thickets lie NNW and SSE and occupy twelve leagues, as 
I have said. 

Item. Twenty-five leagues to the SSW of these thickets is 
a large river which we call Rio do Padram 1 and which was 
discovered at the bidding of the most serene King John II by 
Dieguo Ca 2 o, a knight of his household, in the year of Our 
Lord 1484. The latitude of this river is 7 0 south 1 ; in winter, 
which lasts here from April till the end of September, it brings 
down so great a volume of fresh water that it is felt thirty leagues 
out at sea 3 . When it was discovered they set up beyond its mouth 

* I.e. Congo River. Diogo C 5 o, who discovered this river on his first 
African voyage in 1483, and not 1484 {vide W. Ravenstein, "The Voyages of 
D. do and Bartholomcu Dias,” Royal Geographical Journal, 1900, pp. 627 
tt seq.), was the first to carry “padrSes” (or stone pillars) on a Portuguese 
exploring voyage. Up to his time the Portuguese had been content to erect 
perishable wooden crosses, or to carve inscriptions into trees to mark the 
progress of their discoveries. King John conceived the idea of using stone 
pillars, surmounted by a cross and bearing, in addition to the royal arms, 
an inscription recording in Portuguese and sometimes in Latin, the date, the 
name of the king by whose order the voyage was made and the name of the 
commander. The four “padrSes” set up by C 3 o on his two voyages have 
been discovered in situ and the inscriptions upon two of them—one for each 
voyage—are still legible and have been deciphered. The Congo "padrio” 
was broken into fragments, wantonly so it would seem, by the Dutch when 
they occupied the Congo in 1642. Although two large fragments of it have 
been rescued, it has not been possible to reconstruct the inscription. However 
it is probable that, in its main elements, it followed the plan of the second 
“padrio” erected on Cio’s first voyage, namely at Cape St Mary. On this 
pillar, which stands about 7 ft. high, the inscription, written in Portuguese only, 
runs as follows:" In the year 6681 of the world, and in that of 1482 since the 
birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the most serene, most excellent and potent 
prince, King John II of Portugal did order this land to be discovered and 
these ‘padr&es’ to be set up by D° Cio, an esquire of his household.” 

* Actually 6° S. 

1 The coolest months in the lower Congo are from June to the beginning 
of October, when very little rain falls. During the fim ten days of October 
the weather changes, becoming showery with intervals of dryness. By the 
end of the month the hot, or rainy, season is fully established and it lasts, 
with the exception of an interlude in January and February—the *' little dry 
season ’’—right on until the end of April. The correlation between the seasons 
and the volume of the Congo is hardly as simple as Pacheco seems to think. 
The Congo itself, and its left bank affluents, more especially the Kasai, have 
two periods of high level and two periods of low level each year. The river is 

**~v « 

Series II.VoL LXXIX 

hakluyt society 

British Museum, Egerton MS. 2803 



to the SE a tall stone pillar with a threefold inscription, in Latin, 
Portuguese and Arabic, and it was accordingly called Rio do 
Padram. Its channel has a depth of eight to ten fathoms. This 
is the kingdom of Conguo, of which we will speak in the following 
chapter. The inscription speaks of the King by whose command 
the discovery was made and the date. 

Chapter ii 

Concerning the Kingdom of Conguo and the country 
of the AnzicoSy where they eat men. 

Above this Rio do Padram concerning which we have spoken 
in the above paragraph of the third book is the Kingdom of 
Conguo. The natives call this river “EmzazcV’ It rises in the 
interior in some mountains fifty leagues distant from the coast 1 ; 
its size is increased by numerous tributary rivers and the negroes 
of this country use many large canoes. There is much fishing 
there, but the region is very liable to fever. The native word for 
lord is “many,” thus “maniconguo” means the “Lord of 

low in March and July, high in May and December. “This double maximum 
and double minimum are due, not so much to the alternate flooding of the 
tributaries lying, respectively, northward and southward of the Equator, as 
was formerly believed, as to the double rainy season in the region southward 
of the Equator. The northern affluents contribute to the result, but the 
southern appear to control the level of the river” (Africa Pilot, Part n, p. 181). 
During these rainy seasons, the current is very rapid, probably about 4 knots, 
and so great is its volume that "the surface water is still quite fresh at a 
distance of 9 miles seaward of the mouth of the Congo, and it is only partially 
mixed with that of the sea at a distance of 40 miles from the coast: whilst 
discoloration caused by the fresh water, and also a perceptible current has 
been reported 300 miles offshore ” (ibid. pp. 179, 180). Diogo C#o, according 
to a statement on Soligo’s chart of this region, found fresh water 5 leagues 
out to sea. 

1 This is a corruption of the native word "Nzadi” signifying "great 
river,” but at the present time applied specifically to the Congo. It was from 
this word probably, that the common Portuguese appellative for the Congo— 
"zaire”—was coined. 

1 Seeing that Pacheco has just told us that the current of the Congo is felt 
30 leagues out to sea, it is surprising that he should be content to give it so 
small a length—less than that of the Tagus! 



As soon as the most serene King John discovered this country 
he sought to convert Maniconguo and his people to Christianity 1 . 
For this purpose he sent out monks and priests to teach them 
the articles of our faith. They took with them rich church 
ornaments, organs and other necessary things; when Maniconguo 
and the nobles and people saw the Mass and other divine 
services they were very pleased and he and the nobles were at 
once baptised and became Christians, but he would not allow 
the rest to be baptised, saying that so good and holy a thing 
should not be bestowed on men of low degree. However they 
did not give up their many wives, for they had always had them 
and it was impossible to change [the practice]. Furthermore, 
owing to our infrequent communication with these people, they 
are rapidly losing their Christianity. 

Item. In this land of Maniconguo there is no gold, nor do 
they know what gold is; but there is much fine copper and many 
elephants, which they call “za 3 o”; we barter the copper and 
ivory for linen, which the natives call “molele.” In this Kingdom 
of Conguo they make cloths of palm-leaf as soft as velvet, some 
of them embroidered with velvet satin, as beautiful as any made 
in Italy; this is the only country in the whole of Guinea where 
they know how to make these cloths. A few slaves are obtained 
in this country but we know of no other commerce. 

Item. Beyond the Conguo country to the NE there is another 
country called Anzica, its lord in our day being called Emcuqua- 
anzico. The inhabitants, like those of Conguo, are black and are 
branded on the forehead or temples with a circle in the shape 
of a snail. They are usually at war with Maniconguo, and any 
who die in battle, either on their own side or on that of the 
enemy, they straightway eat, and they also eat anyone who 
appears to be sick unto death. This land is situated very far 

1 Barr os tells us that Clo, on his second voyage, brought back the sons of 
some of Manicongo’s courtiers to be instructed in the Christian faith and that 
Manicongo himself asked for priests to instruct the people (op. cit. Decade I, 
book in, chap. 3). Ruy de Pina, who gives us the best account of the spread 
of Christianity in the Congo, adds that Manicongo also desired to have masons 
and carpenters to erect churches and houses, so that he might be able to 
model his kingdom as far as possible on the Portuguese pattern (Cromca de 
D. Jodo II, chaps. 58-63). 



from the coast in the interior, and we do not know of any profit 
to be had there. 

Item. Some thirty-five leagues beyond Rio do Pad ram, of 
which we have spoken above, is the small river called Rio do 
Mondeguo 1 ; here the coast forms a bay of a little more than a 
league and at its mouth there are two small islands, low and 
level and sparsely wooded, called Ilhas das Cabras 3 . They are 
very near the mainland and the negroes who inhabit them belong 
to the lordship of Maniconguo, the Conguo country extending 
even beyond them. The negroes of these islands pick up small 
shells (of the size of pine-nuts in their shell) which they call 
“zinbos.” These are used as money in the country of Mani¬ 
conguo ; fifty of them will buy a hen, and three hundred a goat 
and so forth; and when Maniconguo wishes to confer a favour 
on one of his nobles or reward a service done to him, he orders 
him to be given a certain number of these “zinbos,” just as our 
princes bestow money of these realms on those who deserve it, 
and often on those who do not. In the country of Beny, con¬ 
cerning which I wrote in the fourth paragraph of the seventh 
chapter of the second book, they use as money shells which they 
call “ iguou,” a little larger than these “ zimbos ” of Maniconguo; 
they use them to buy everything and he who has most of them 
is the richest. The country from Rio do Padram to Rio do 
Mondeguo and the Ilhas das Cabras along the coast is flat and 
well wooded; it lies north and south and occupies thirty-five 
leagues of the route, as I have said above. The Ilhas das Cabras 
are situated 9 0 south of the Equator and by this they can be 
recognised. Off these islands at thirty fathoms there is extremely 
abundant fishing. 

Item. Twenty leagues beyond the Ilha[s] das Cabras is the 
point called Ponta das Camboas 3 , so-called because when Dieguo 
Caao, a knight of the household of the late King John, discovered 
this land, he found some fish-garths here in which negroes were 

1 Bengo River {vide Ravenstein, op. at. p. 652). 

1 Loando Island and Loando Reef. Cf. Africa Pilot, Part 11, p. 202. 

J Cape S 3 o Braz (io° S.) according to Ravenstein {op. cit. p. 652), but the 
Pilot speaks of no off-shore dangers. Cape Lcdo (9 0 45' S.) seems to be a 
more likely identification {vide Africa Pilot, Part n, p. 207). “Camboas” 
signifies fish-garth, dam or weir. 





fishing and so he gave it this name. This point is full of hidden 
rocks. Beyond, there is a very small river like a creek; it has no 
trade and need not be described. This point lies NNVV and 
SSE in respect of the Ilha[s] das Cabras and is twenty leagues 
along the route; its latitude is io^° south. 

Item. Ponta das Camboas and Ponta de Sam Louren^ 1 lie 
north and south and occupy twenty leagues of the route; all this 
country is very flat and less wooded than the preceding. 

Chapter iii 

Concerning the routes, distances and degrees beyond 
Ponta de Sam Lourenfo. 

The discovery of these Ethiopias cost Prince Henry the death 
of many men and much expense, for he was the first discoverer 
of the great things we have found worthy to record. For this 
reason, we will continue to describe the whole of the country 
with its harbours, bays, routes and degrees of latitude, so as to 
observe a proper order and to make known the coast and sea¬ 
board for the benefit of those who come after us, in case they 
need it. 

Item. Beyond Ponta de Sam Lourenfo, of which we wrote in 
the last paragraph of the second chapter of Book III, there begins 
a bay 3 . ..of Santa Maria: beyond, the coast runs straight and 
at eighteen leagues, reckoning from Ponta de Sam Lourenfo, it 
forms a promontory called Ponta Preta 3 ; it was given this name 
because they use a black "manilha 4 ” there. Ponta de Sam 
Lourengo and Ponta Preta lie N and S and occupy eighteen 
leagues of the route. The country is not as well-wooded as the 
preceding region. Ponta Preta is situated 13 0 40' south of the 

x Mono Point (?). Cf. Africa Pilot, Part II, p. 208. 

* Lacuna. The sense is supplied by the insertion of some such words as 
“which has the name.” The bay in question is Bcnguela Bay. 

3 I.e. Cape St Mary, 13 0 26' S. 

4 Ravenstein gives the following explanation of the name: “ it was called 
Ponta Preta.. .because of a black trump—manilha negra—which was 
played here in a game of ‘manille’” (op. cit. p. 631). 



Item. Ponta Preta and Monte Negro lie N and S and occupy 
25 leagues of the route. This mountain, which is not very lofty, 
rises above the sea. It was named Monte Negro because it is 
covered by a low, even thicket which makes a darker showing 
than the sand surrounding it. This part of the coast is practically 
desert and has a very sparse population. The latitude of Monte 
Negro is 15 0 20' south. 

Item. Eight leagues beyond Monte Negro is a large bay 
which runs inland a league and a half. It is called Angra das 
Aldeas 1 , because, when Dieguo Ca 3 o discovered this coast at 
the bidding of the late King John, he found two large villages 
inside this bay. The negroes of this land are poor and live 
entirely on fish, which is plentiful in this neighbourhood; they 
are idolaters. There is no profit to be made here. From Monte 
Negro thither the coast runs NE and SW and occupies eight 
leagues; and all this country along the sea is low. 

Item. Beyond Angra das Aldeas is a bay some two leagues 
wide at the mouth, called Mangua das Areas 1 ; it runs five or 
six leagues inland and both inside and at its mouth has a depth 
of twelve and fifteen fathoms. The country is a treeless desert 
containing nothing but sand. There is much fishing inside the 
bay and at certain times of the year negroes from the interior 
come to fish here; these make huts of whalebones covered with 
seaweed and sprinkled with sand and lead a miserable existence. 
This Mangua das Areas and the Angra das Aldeas lie NE and 
SW and occupy fifteen leagues of the route. The latitude of 
Mangua das Areas is i6£° south. 

Item. Six leagues beyond the Mangua das Areas the land 
forms a low point covered with sand, called Ponta das Pedras*, 
so called because in front of this point and beyond it are many 
large rocks. The coast to this point runs NE by E and SW by W 
and occupies six leagues of the route. The land is very low and 
difficult to distinguish, but it can be recognised by the fact that it 
is 16° 40' S of the Equator: this is its best landmark. 

* The vicinity of Albino Point, 15 0 55' S. {vide Africa Pilot, Part 11, p. 227). 

* I.e. Tiger Peninsula, 16 0 30' S. (vide Africa Pilot, Part it, p. 228). 

3 I.e. Monte Vermelho, near the southern extremity of Great Fish Bay, 
16 0 50' S. 



Item. Ponta das Pedras and Cabo Negro 1 lie N and S and 
occupy twelve leagues of the route. This cape is very low, and 
the surrounding country is all sand except at the point of this 
cape where there is a black patch, hence the name of the cape, 
it only appears as a cape when one is a league away at sea, for 
at three and four leagues the coast appears to be straight. This 
country is difficult to navigate; its winter lasts from the month 
of April till the end of September. Ships bound for India always 
keep 250 and more leagues out to sea in order to avoid this 
part of the coast. 

Chapter iv 

of the third hook of the Esmeraldo De Situ Orbis. 

There were many opinions in times past among the learned in 
Portugal as to the discovery of the Ethiopias of Guinea and of 
India. Some said that it was better not to trouble about dis¬ 
covering the sea-coast but to cross the Ocean until you reached 
some country in or adjoining India, and this would make the 
voyage shorter; others held that it would be better to discover 
the coast gradually and learn the routes and landmarks and the 
peoples of each region, so as to have certain knowledge of the 
country they were seeking, for in no other way would it be 
possible to know the land. It seems to me that the second opinion, 
which was followed, was the better, and so the discovery pro¬ 
ceeded along the coast. We must thus continue our description 
of the coast from Cabo Negro in the same manner as we have 
written above about the said land. 

Item. Seventeen leagues beyond Cabo Negro are some sand¬ 
hills along the sea, six or seven in all, rather higher than the 
surrounding country. The whole of this coast is desert and 
uninhabited, and from Cabo Negro to these sand-hills it runs 
N and S and occupies seventeen leagues of the route. The 
latitude of these hills is 19 0 south. 

Item. The coast from the sand-hills to Angra de Ruy Pires* 

* Cape Frio(?) (mdt Africa Pilot, Part ii, p. *31). 

* Ravenstcin locates it off Uniab River, ig c 50' S. (op. cit. p. 653). Exact 
identification is impossible from the Africa Pilot. Ruy Pirez was presumably 
one of Diogo CSo’s men but nothing is known of him. 



runs midway between N and S and N by W and S by E and 
occupies twenty leagues of the route. All this country is very 
low, sandy and deserted. In this bay six or seven small vessels 
can anchor in eight fathoms a gunshot from land on a clean 
bottom; the latitude of the bay is 20° south. 

Item. Twenty-five leagues beyond Angra de Ruy Pi res is 
another small bay called Angra de Santo Amaro 1 ; it is very 
small, and all this country is deserted and covered with sand. 
Angra de Ruy Pires and Angra de Santo Amaro lie NNW and 
SSE and occupy the said twenty-five leagues of the route, and 
this Angra de Santo Amaro is situated 2i£° south of the Equator. 

Item. Angra de Santo Amaro and Arcaees lie N and S and 
occupy twelve leagues of the route; the coast is deserted, being 
nothing but sand, hence the name “os Areaees V* They are 
22 0 20' south of the Equator. Ten leagues beyond the Areaees is 
a point called the Cabo do Padram*, which has a stone pillar 
with an inscription in three languages, in Latin, Arabic and 
Portuguese 4 , all three in the same tenor, giving the date, after 
the creation of the world and in the year of Our Lord Jesus 
Christ, when King John II of Portugal ordered the discovery 
of this coast by Dieguo Ca 5 o, knight of his household and 
captain of his ships. This cape and the Areaees lie N and S and 
occupy ten leagues of the route as stated; its latitude is 22 0 45' 
south. This country is low and difficult to recognise, its best 
landmarks being the elevation of the Antarctic Pole and its 
degrees from the Equator. 

* Ambrose Bay (?) (vide Africa Pilot, Part II, pp. 232-3). 

* I.e. sandy places—a description that is applicable to practically any part 
of this stretch of coast. 

5 I.e. Cape Cross, 21 0 50' S. This cape, according to the legend on 
H. Martcllus Germanus’s map of c. 1489, coincides approximately with 
Clo’s “farthest south,” for he only “proceeded onwards as far as the Serra 
Parda.. .and here he died.” 

* This “padrio” remained in situ until 1893, when it was carried off to 
Kiel by the captain of the German ship Falke. It bore only two inscrip¬ 
tions, in Gothic letters, one in Portuguese and the other in Latin, together 
with the arms of John II (adopted in 1485). The Portuguese inscription says: 

“ In the year bjMbjcbnocb (6685) of the creation of the world, and of Christ 
llllclxxxb (1485) the excellent, illustrious King D. Jo 5 o II of Portugal did 
direct this land to be discovered, and this padrilo to be set up by D° C 5 o, an 
esquire of his household.” The dates in the Latin inscription are in Arabic 
characters, which may perhaps account for Pacheco’s mistake. 


Item. Cabo do Padram and Praya das Pedras 1 lie N and S 
and occupy twelve leagues of the route. This beach is five or 
six leagues long and most of it is covered with rocks; at the end 
of it is a very small bay 3 which lies precisely under the tropic 
of Capricorn and so its latitude is 23 0 33' south. All this coast 
is a sandy desert but there is very abundant fishing here. From 
this point navigation becomes difficult: in the months of June, 
July and August, however, north and northwesterly winds blow 
in this neighbourhood and are favourable for the voyage to the 
Cabo de Boa Esperan9a. 

Chapter v 

Concerning the country beyond the tropic of Capricorn. 

Great has been the glory acquired by the virtuous Prince Henry 
who initiated this navigation and discovery, and by King 
Afonso V and King John II, his son, and especially by our Lord 
the most serene prince, King Manuel, in discovering this un¬ 
known country of the Ethiopias of Guinea, which all the ancients 
maintained could never be reached by navigation. To that 
magnanimous man, our Emperor Manuel, has fallen the most 
glorious part, for he discovered nearly the whole of Ethiopia 
under Egypt and the most distant kingdoms of India, in which 
regions at his bidding great conquests and singular victories have 
been achieved, as we shall relate in the fourth book; but we must 
first finish this third book and follow our plan of describing the 
coast in due order. 

Item. The coast between Praya das Pedras and Angra da 
Comceip$am 3 lies midway between north and south and N by W 
and S by E and occupies 25 leagues of the route. All this coast 
half a league from shore is foul with great reefs of rock; the 

1 I.e. Rock Bay, 22® 18' S. 

* The mouth of the Swakop River, 22® 40' S. (?) (vide Africa Pilot, Part 11, 
P- 2 3S)‘ 

* Conception Bay, 24° S., or Spencer Bay, 25® 35' S. Ravenstein (op. cit.) 
identifies it with Walvis Bay, but this is only 22® 53' S. 


hinterland is low and covered with sand and difficult to find. 
The latitude of the bay is 25 0 30' south. 

Item. Fifteen leagues beyond the Angra da Comceip^am is 
another small bay called Angra da Balea 1 ; they lie midway 
between N and S and N by W and S by E. The bottom along 
all this coast is clean; in thirty fathoms one will be a league 
from shore, and here there is good fishing. The latitude of this 
bay is 26^° south*. 

Item. Angra da Balea and Terra das Baixas* lie N by W and 
S by E and occupy twenty leagues of the route. This locality 
has some coastal shallows of rock which run out into the sea for 
not more than a quarter of a league and in length extend for 
about a league; this Terra das Baixas is 27 0 30' south of the 
Equator. Ten leagues beyond the said Terra das Baixas is a 
small bay with an islet at its mouth 4 , and behind the coast the 
land becomes more elevated, and assumes the appearance of a 
mountain range; and from Terra das Baixas to this range the 
coast runs midway between north and south and N by E and 
S by W and occupies the aforesaid ten leagues of the route. 

Item. Fifteen leagues beyond this range is the beautiful 
Angra das Voltas 5 , with a wide inlet to the NW. This coast runs 
N and S; but he who leaves this mountain, bound south, must 
keep close to land and if it be night should steer south by west. 
This Angra das Voltas runs inland a good league and a half, and 
a hundred ships can anchor here in ten to twelve fathoms, safe 
in all weathers. The bay is a league or more across and contains 
some rocky islets, and there is good fishing here; it was dis¬ 
covered by Bertholameu Diaz at the bidding of the late King 
John and is located 29 0 20' south of the Equator. The country 
is bare and unwooded. 

1 Luderitz Bay, 26° 35' S. (?). 

* Cf. p. 24, where the latitude is given as 21 0 S. 

3 The coast in the neighbourhood of Prince of Wales Island, 27° 10' S. 
(vide Africa Pilot, Part 11, p. 256). 

4 Baker Bay, 27°4o' S. It is entered between Black Sophie rock and 
Sinclair Island—a small guano island. The hinterland is dotted with hills 
of volcanic formation and. presents quite a mountainous appearance (vide 
Africa Pilot, Part II, p. 257). Ravenstein believes that it is to be identified 
with Spencer Bay, but this is only 25*43' S. 

3 Peacock Roadstead to the south of Cape Voltas (28* 42' S.) (?). Raven- 
stein (op. cit.) favours Luderitz Bay. 



Item. Twenty leagues beyond Angra das Voltas is the Serra 
da Pena 1 ; this range is fairly high, treeless and covered with 
rocks. All this country along the coast is deserted. He who 
makes for these mountains from Angra das Voltas should stand 
four leagues out to sea; by steering SSE he will make the said 
Serra da Pena and be 20 leagues farther on the route, as already 
stated. This Serra is 30° 20' south of the Equator. Just beyond 
this Serra the coast forms a bay with an islet, and farther beyond 
still there is a lofty tableland* near the coast: the extremity of 
this tableland and the said Serra lie NW and SE and occupy ten 
leagues of the route. 

Chapter vi 

Concerning Serra da Pena and its tableland , and of the 
routes and landmarks of the country as far as Cabo de Boa 

Great favour have we received from the Lord from whom all 
blessings proceed, for He has given us time and ability to finish 
the work we have begun, but it is with no small effort that we 
have written here of the toilsome way, more difficult of dis¬ 
covery than might appear. Our princes who undertook this 
[enterprise] did not spend their lives and treasures in vain, since 
they attained the desired end. In order that the navigation of 
this Ethiopia and its coast may be known in detail for all time, 
we must continue our plan and fulfil our promise. 

Item. Twenty-five leagues farther on there is a peak* which 
lies NNW-SSE with the tableland of the Serra: it is fairly high 
and rocky. This part of the coast during its winter, which begins 

1 The hills rising behind Hondeklip Bay, 30° 20' S. (vide Africa Pilot, 
Part 11, p. 268). 

* There ia no lofty tableland near the coast, but 40 miles southeast of 
Hondeklip Bay there is a plateau about 14 miles inland rising to nearly 
2000 ft. There is also a very high range of mountains at a considerable distance 
inland of this plateau—the Lange Berg. Vide Africa Pilot, Part 11, p. 269. 

i I.e. Kapiteins Kloof, 3410 ft —“a very conspicuous summit in the Piket- 
berg range of mountains.” Africa Pilot, Part n, p. 273. 



in April and lasts till the end of September, is stormy and cold. 
The principal landmark of this locality is the latitude; the peak 
is 32J 0 south of the Equator. 

Item. Twelve leagues beyond this peak is a bay called Angra 
de Santa Elena 1 : it is fairly large and dangerous because of its 
many reefs of rock; the peak and this bay lie N and S and occupy 
12 leagues of the route, as we have stated. The whole of this 
coast is foul with rocks. On the south the bay runs into a point*, 
where there are shallows and here one must be very careful; its 
latitude is 32 0 30' south of the Equator*. 

Item. He who sails beyond Angra de Santa Elena should 
stand three leagues out to sea because of the presence of some 
reefs of rock here; all this coast has a sandy beach. Twelve 
leagues beyond Angra de Santa Elena is a point called Ponta 
da Praya 4 ; this point and the aforesaid bay lie NW and SE; the 
latitude of the point is 34 0 10' south of the Equator. 

Eight leagues beyond Ponta da Praya is a beautiful pro¬ 
montory which we call Cabo de Boa Esperan^aS; it lies NNW 
and SSE with the Ponta da Praya and is 34 0 30' south of the 
Equator. On the opposite page we have given a painting 6 of the 
Cape made on the spot, and in the following chapter we will 
describe the cape at greater length. 

Chapter vii 

Concerning the discovery of Cabo de Boa Esperanfa, 
where Africa ends. 

It was with good reason that this promontory was called Cabo 
de Boa Esperan^a, for Bertholameu Diaz, who discovered it at 
the command of the late King John in the year 1488 7 , when he 

* I.e. St Helena Bay. 

* I.e. Cape St Martin, 32°43' S. 

3 As Pacheco gives 32 0 30' S. for both the bay and the peak, and says that 
they are 12 leagues apart, it is obvious that they lie approximately east and 
west and not north and south. 

4 I.e. Green Point in Table Bay.. 33 0 54' S. 

5 Cape of Good Hope is actually 34 0 21' S. 

6 Vide Introduction, p. xxx. 

7 No official report of Bartholomew Dias’s voyage exists and neither Ruy 
de Pina nor Garcia de Resendc describes it, and although J0S0 de Barros 



saw that the coast here turned northwards and northeastwards 
towards Ethiopia under Egypt and on to the Gulf of Arabia, 
giving great hope of the discovery of India, called it the “ Cape 
of Good Hope 1 .” Its latitude is 34 0 30' (or half a degree) south, 
as we have said above. The land is very high and shaped as 
appears in our picture. During its winter, from the month of 
April till the end of the month of September, it is very cold and 
stormy 5 . The negroes of this region are heathen, bestial people, 
and they wear skins and sandals of raw hide; they are not as 
black as the negroes of Jalofo, Mandingua and other parts of 
Guinea. There is no trade here, but there are many cows, goats 
and sheep and there is plenty of fish. In this country there are 
large cats called "baboys,” almost of the size of a man, with 
large beards, which one has to see in order to believe 3 . Some 
say that this Cape is the promontory called Plaso 4 of which 
Ptolemy spoke, but I do not think so; I think rather it must be 
the Montes Lunae in which Ptolemy says the Nile rises, for in 
the very position which Ptolemy gave to these mountains 3 , in 
34J 0 south of the Equator, there the promontory of Boa 
Esperan^a is found, so that the distance from the Equator in 
degrees answers to the Montes Lunae; moreover the shape of 

gives a brief account his dates are unreliable. According to him (op. cit. 
Decade 1, book m, chap. 4) Dias started in 1486 and returned in the December 
of the following year. Pacheco’s date of 1488 receives corroboration from 
two marginal notes (recognised by scholars as being in the handwriting of 
Christopher Columbus), one in a copy of Pierre d’Ailly’s Tractatus de Imagine 
Mundi, now in the Columbine Library at Seville, and the other in a copy of 
the Historia rerum ubique gestarum of Pope Pius II. Moreover Pacheco met 
Diaa on his return voyage at Ilho de Principe and wrote c. a.d. 1505, whereas 
Barros did not write until c. A.D. 1550. 

* The usual tradition, based upon Barros (op. cit.), is that Dias named it 
the Stormy Cape on account of the dangers and storms he and his men had 
passed through in doubling it, but that King John changed it to that of Cape 
of Good Hope because it gave promise of the discovery of India which had 
been sought for so many years. 

1 While gales are not infrequent accompaniments of winter, the mean 
winter temperature in the Cape region is 53 0 F., i.e. 4 0 F. higher than that of 

3 I.e. the leopard. It is still quite common in Cape Province. Vide W. L. 
Sclater, The Mammals of South Africa, vol. I, pp. 34-8. 

* I.e. Prasum Promontorium, Ptolemy’s “ farthest south ” in East Africa: 
it is commonly regarded as being identical with C. Delgado to the south of 

* Vide Introduction, p. xx. 



this country answers to Ptolemy’s description of the said 
mountains, so that they appear to be one and the same. For 
these reasons the Cape is easy to find; it can also be found by 
the course of the sun, for, at whatever time of the year a person 
may be here, the sun will always be to the north of him and the 
shadow to the south, the exact contrary of what happens in the 
part of the world in which we live, for with us the sun is always 
to the south and the shadow to the north. At this promontory 
Africa comes to an end in the Ocean [i.e. Atlantic], and is 
divided from Asia 1 ; from this point the boundary of Africa runs 
due north following the course of the Nile, through the midst 
of the Ethiopias of Trogouditas 3 to Damiata on the sea of 
Egypt; here, near Libya it turns and follows the coast of 
Carthage until it terminates in the great city of Cepta; thence it 
follows Tingitania and the coast of the Atlantic and the Ethiopias 
of Guinea, as described in this book, until it comes to an end 
again in the Cabo de Boa Esperan^a, as we stated in the middle 
of the fifth chapter of the first book. This is the circumference 
of Africa, as may be seen in the painting of the map of the world 
and general description given in that chapter. The circumference 
of Africa is 3,850 leagues; its length, beginning at the Rio de 
Qanagud and running due east to the river Nile, is 840 leagues; 
its breadth, going due south from Tripoli in Berbery to the sea 
of Guinea at the Rio dos Escravos, is 500 leagues; and this is 
its circumference, length and breadth, as we have said, and these 
are its boundaries and coasts, which do not have gulfs running 
into them, as they do in Europe and Asia. All this we have 
ascertained in great detail. On this promontory of Boa Esperan$a 
herbs, like those of Portugal, are to be found: for here there is 
much mint and camomile and cress; there are also many other 
herbs of the same nature as those in this country [i.e. Portugal]. 

* In book I, chap. 5, Pacheco indicates the limits of Africa commencing at 
the mouth of die Nile. In conformity with the general classical view he makes 
the Nile the continental frontier and since the Nile rose in the "Mountains 
of the Moon ” which he erroneously identifies with the mountains of Cape 
Province, it was quite natural that he should regard the Cape as the southern 
boundary point. 

1 I.e. the Troglodytes (or cave-dwellers) who according to Herodotus and 
later writers inhabited a mountainous region in the Sahara near the Gara- 
mantes, some 30 days’ journey south from Tripoli. 


There are also wild olives, oaks and heather which yields berries, 
and other trees like ours. The cause of this [similarity] is the 
movement of the sun which gives life to all things, for Lisbon 
is about the same number of degrees north of the Equator as 
Cabo de Boa Esperan^a is south of it; for this reason Portugal 
and this country are alike in their trees and herbs and fruits. 
However, the seasons are opposite; when it is winter here, it is 
summer there, and when it is summer here, it is winter there; 
for the sun in its movement away from us, and towards us, being 
the same degrees distant from the Equator towards the Cape as 
towards the other [i.e. Lisbon] produces the same herbs and 
fruits and trees, although the seasons are different, as we have 
learnt by experience. Aqui tnapa. 

Chapter viii 

Concerning t)ie routes , landmarks and degrees as far as 
Ilheo da Cruz , where the discoveries of the most serene King 
John II ended. 

Having now described Africa and Ethiopia and their circum¬ 
ference, length and breadth we must not omit Asia, even though 
it is so large that the greater part has always remained unknown 
both to the ancients and to us modems who have discovered 
a good part of it. We will only write of the part navigated at 
the command of this most serene King our lord, who discovered 
Ethiopia under Egypt and a great part of the Arabian Gulf and 
the Persian Gulf and all the coast of Persia and a great part of 
India. We will begin at Cabo de Boa Esperan9a, where Africa 
is divided from Asia, describing the coast to Ilheo da Cruz, 
where our third book containing the discoveries of the excellent 
King John II ends. Our fourth and fifth books will deal with 
the discoveries of our Emperor Manuel, as we promised towards 
the end of our first Prologue. We will describe the routes and 
landmarks of this coast and the latitudes of its harbours and 
rivers, each in its proper order. 



Item. It is apparent from our illustration and painting of 
Cabo de Boa Esperan^a that the bay or gulf formed by the cape 
turns eastwards. Fifteen leagues eastwards from the front of 
this cape is the point called Ponta de Sam Brandam 1 , lying in 
the same parallel as the cape; the coast between them rims in 
a straight line; it is almost flat, but inland are some high rocky 
mountains which continue a great part of the way. 

Item. Beyond Ponta de Sam Brandam is another point called 
Ponta do Infante*, beyond which is an islet a quarter of a league 
from the mainland; on all this coast there is much fishing. 
Ponta de Sam Brandam and Ponta do Infante lie ENE and 
WSW and occupy seventeen leagues of the route; we believe 
that there is no commerce or barter in this land and will therefore 
not describe it in greater detail. 

Item. Twenty leagues beyond Ponta do Infante there is a 
cape called Cabo das Vacas 3 , so called because of the many cows 
seen here. It lies east and west with respect to the aforesaid 
Ponta do Infante and is 20 leagues along the route as mentioned. 

Item. Three leagues beyond Cabo das Vacas is a large bay, 
four or five leagues round, called Angra de Sam Bras 4 ; the coast 
from Cabo de Boa Esperan^a to this bay runs ENE and WSW 
half the way and the rest of the way to the bay NE by E and 
SW by W, the latitude of Angra de Sam Bras being 35 0 20' 
south. In this bay is an islet 5 close to the shore, on which there 
are many very large sea-wolves, which have the shoulders, necks 
and manes of lions 6 ; there are also in this islet sea-birds? larger 
than ducks, covered with feathers but without wings for flying 
and their voice resembles the braying of an ass. This bay is 
protected from all the winds except those from the ENE to the 
SE which blow across the bay and make the sea very rough when 
they blow with violence. To the west this bay has a point of land 

1 I.e. Cape Agulhas, 34 0 49' S. 

* Still known in a corrupted form as Cape Infanta (34 0 28' S.). 

3 I.e. Cape Vacca. 4 I.e. Mossel Bay. 

5 I.e. Seal Island. 

6 I.e. the Cape Sea-Lion: “the old males have a well-developed mane of 
long hairs all round the neck: the females.. .have no trace of the mane” 
(vide W. L. Sclater, The Mammals of South Africa, vol. I, p. 120). 

7 I.e. the Jackass Penguin (vide A. Stark and W. L. Sclater, The Birds of 
South Africa, vol. iv, pp. 518-19). 



with some rocks on it which, when one is out at sea, seem islets, 
and one of them is like a small turreted castle 1 . This is the first 
thing you see on approaching the said bay. The length of this 
point is rather more than a crossbow-shot and from this point 
a reef of rock runs out into the sea, a quarter of a league in 
length, and when the sea is rough it breaks on it; it almost closes 
the mouth of the bay. A mountain-range comes down to the 
sea at this low-lying point of land. 

Item. A small river* flows into this Angra de Sam Bras; it 
flows from the mountains to the sea, and on its banks grow reeds 
and rushes, mint, wild olives and other herbs and trees like 
those of this kingdom [i.e. Portugal]. Our crews can here take 
in water and wood, cows, sheep and goats, which the negroes 
will sell to them for brass basins, small bells and red cloth; 
but one must guard against the negroes of this land, for they 
are very wicked and have several times attempted to kill our 
crews, and he who lands here should beware. Anyone entering 
this bay may anchor within the reef in four and a half fathoms 
on a clean sandy bottom a little over a quarter of a league from 
the shore. Four or five leagues out to sea from this bay he will 
find twenty-five and thirty fathoms, on a muddy bottom mixed 
with sand; there is plentiful fishing here. 

Chapter ix 

Concerning the routes and latitudes from Angra de Sam 
Bras to Ilheo da Cruz and on to Rio do Infante. 

The time and trouble spent by us in composing this work have 
been well employed, since we were so fortunate as to have to 
describe the discoveries of the late glorious prince, King John. 
And although the coast discovered at his command yields no 
profit, we must not blame him for this; the blame lies with the 
land, which is almost deserted and produces nothing to make the 

' The rocks of Cape St Blaize (vide Africa Pilot, Part XIX, p. 81, 9th 

* Hartenbosch River (?). 



heart of man glad. The less profit the region discovered by him 
yields, the greater praise is due to him; for, had he obtained 
great wealth from these regions, there would not have been 
lacking censors and critics to say that he made the discoveries 
in his own interest; but since we know that his only profit was 
the great expense and the opening of a way for the discovery of 
India, we are confident that the enterprise of this most serene 
prince was induced by love of glory and magnificence and a 
desire to explore lands hitherto utterly unknown, and by no 
other cause. Having said this, we will proceed with our plan. 

Item. Fifteen leagues beyond Auguoada 1 de Sam Bras is the 
small bay called Angra d’Alaguoa*, so-called because it has a 
marshy lake. All the land along the coast from Auguoada de 
Sam Bras to this bay is flat, but inland there are very high 
mountains*. Angra de Sam Bras and Angra d’Alaguoa lie east 
and west 15 leagues along the route, as stated, and this small 
bay contains an islet 4 where many sea-wolves and many birds 
live. All this land is thinly wooded and moderately populated, 
but there is no trade. 

Item. Angra d’Alaguoa and another larger bay* containing 
two lakes lie ENE and WSW and occupy twelve leagues of the 
route. Only small vessels can enter this Angra d’Alaguoa, 
because of its many shallows; its latitude is 34$° south of the 
Equator. No profit is to be obtained from this land, so that 
I will not waste time in describing it further. 

Item. From Angra d’Alaguoa to Angra do Rico 6 is fifteen 
leagues in an E by NE direction. Whoever comes this way should 
beware of two dangerous shallows of rock on which the sea 
breaks about half-way along the route, nearly a league from the 
shore. The Angra do Rico is nearly as large as the above- 
mentioned Angra de Sam Bras; it can be recognised by the three 

* I.e. “ the watering-place.” 

* Plettenburg Bay. The mouth of the Pisang River, which enters the bay, is 
frequently closed by a bar; behind this the waters accumulate to form a 
temporary lake. 

3 These are the Outeniqua Mountains (vide Africa Pilot, Part ill, p. 92). 

* I.e. Beacon Islet. 

5 St Francis Bay. The lakes of which Pacheco speaks are formed by the 
overflow of the waters of the bar-obstructed rivers. 

6 I.e. Algoa Bay. 



islets at its entrance; the bottom in places is dirty and a ship 
anchoring there should take soundings. 

Item. Five leagues beyond the Angra do Rico is an islet a 
little over half a league from shore, called Penedo das Fontes, 
because Bertholameu Diaz, who discovered this land at the 
command of the late King John, found two springs of excellent 
fresh water here; but this rock is called also Ilheo da Cruz 1 , 
because the same Bertholameu Diaz placed here a pillar of 
stone 2 a little taller than a man with a cross on top of it and a 
triple inscription, in Latin, Arabic and Portuguese, declaring 
that in the year of Our Lord Jesus Christ i486 (and in so many 
years after the creation of the world), King John ordered 
Bertholameu Diaz, captain of his ships, to discover this coast. 
This pillar can be seen out at sea when one is near the island. 
The mainland round this island consists of sand-dunes but the 
adjoining land beyond these dunes is all very green and low, 
with woods and some fields. Beyond this land along the coast 
there is nothing but sand-dunes, some large, some small. This 
Ilheo da Cruz is nearly half a league from the shore; the coast 
from Angra do Rico thither runs NE by E and SW by W and 
occupies 5 leagues of the route, as we have said. The latitude of 
the said Penedo das Fontes is 33 0 45' south of the Equator. 

Item. Twenty-five leagues beyond the Ilheo da Cruz is a 
small river called Rio do Infante^, so called because when it was 
discovered by Bertholameu Diaz a certain Joham Infante, a 
member of his crew, was the first to land. Eight or ten leagues 
from the Ilheo da Cruz are two islands called Ilheos Chaos 4 ; 
they lie two and a half leagues from the shore. The landmarks of 
this region are these: the sand-dune coast two leagues beyond 
the Ilheo da Cruz, and a black patch on the mainland having a 
large sand-dune to the north and a tongue of black coloured 
land along the shore, which appear when these Ilheos Chaos are 
to the NE. These islets are almost on a level with the sea, but 

1 St Croix Island, but cf. Ravenstein, op. at. p. 646. 

* No “padrio” has ever been recovered from this neighbourhood. It is 
possible that Pacheco is confusing St Croix Island with Cape Padrone, some 
little distance to the east, where Dias set up a stone pillar dedicated to 
S. Gregorio. 

3 I.e. Great Fish River. 

4 I.e. Bird Islands. 


inland the country is very elevated. From here to the Rio do 
Infante is fifteen leagues; midway there are the mouths of three 
small rivers 1 . At this Rio do Infante the navigation and dis¬ 
covery of the late King John ended. This river and the Ilheo 
da Cruz lie NE by E and SW by W, 25 leagues apart, as already 
stated. The latitude of the river is 32 0 40' south of the Equator. 

This most serene prince died in the year of Our Lord Jesus 
Christ 1495 in the town of Alvor in Algarve on the 25th day 
of October. The years of his life were forty years and five 
months and twenty-five days, of which he reigned only fourteen 
years, one month and twenty-eight days. He is buried in the 
monastery of Santa Maria da Vitoria (which is also called 
“ Batalha”) with his father King Afonso V, in the Chapel of 
the Chapter. 

* Viz. Bushman, Kariega and Kowie Rivers. 





T he beginning of the fourth book of the 
Esmeraldo De Situ Orbis, concerning the dis¬ 
coveries of the most serene prince, King Manuel our 
lord , the first of this name to reign in Portugal. Here 
follows , firstly , the Prologue. 

Although the nature of the subject permits us to finish the 
work we have begun and our spirit is willing, our scholarship is 
so poor that we cannot attempt to fully describe the excellence 
of our Emperor Manuel. For as agriculture promises sustenance 
to mortal men, even so great deeds promise them an eternity of 
noble fame. The singular qualities with which he was endowed 
by nature are universally known; for justice tempered with 
moderation was given him as a rich garment, and plentiful 
wisdom to administer it in a manner worthy of praise. He was 
benevolent towards his subjects, being easy of approach and 
kindly, yet from his youth he was marvellously fearless withal 
and he performed great deeds with manly spirit and unstinting 
generosity. He was a Catholic, living a pure and honest life, 
keeping strictly the holy vow of matrimony and conjugal 
chastity; therefore Our Lord blessed him with noble offspring. 
He was the first King of Portugal to beseech the Holy Father, 
Pope Alexander VI, to give a dispensation to the Knights 
Commanders of the Order of Christ and of S. Bento in these 
realms, to allow those who from that time took the habit in these 
Orders to marry, which request was granted. (Before this the 
professed friars were strictly forbidden to marry.) The service 
rendered to God in this by this most serene prince is worthy 
of continual praise, for whereas, when they were unable to 
marry, they kept mistresses and there was much lust and sin, 
they are now allowed to marry. Portugal must be considered 
fortunate to possess so great a blessing; for it is certain that this 
our prince was given us by divine grace for the tranquillity and 




good governance of our country, and this favour was granted 
at the hand of the supreme Creator, Who sent him from His 
altars and holy places. The greatness of his excellence is such 
that it ill befits our poor understanding to undertake the heavy 
task of recording his praises; rather we must leave the main 
part of them for the writer of his chronicle. As we have written 
the three books concerning the other princes who undertook 
and began, without accomplishing, this navigation and conquest 
of the route to India, we will proceed to write the fourth and 
fifth books from the beginning of King Manuel’s conquest and 
discovery of the new lands in the strange regions of Asia and 
the shores of India, which the princes of old, his predecessors, 
and even earlier princes of other nations, with all their 
wealth, knowledge and courage, were never able to reach. In 
the second chapter below we will tell how the first fleet was 
fitted out, which finally discovered the hitherto unknown 
Ethiopia under Egypt and the distant kingdoms of India, 
regions and lands which it is pleasanter to hear about than to 
explore. The device of this prince—a sphere which we set here— 
was clearly a prophecy of what we have seen in the attainment 
of his Highness’ ambition. May God increase his glory. 

Aqui a esphera. 

Chapter i 

How some ancient writers declared that the region of the 
Equator and the adjacent country were uninhabitable. 

Our own predecessors and those w T ho lived even earlier in other 
countries could never believe that a time would come when our 
West would be made known to the East and to India as it now is. 
The writers who spoke of those regions told so many fables 
about them that it seemed utterly impossible that the seas and 
lands of India could be explored by the West. 

Ptolemy in his portrayal of the ancient tables of cosmography 
writes that the Indian Sea is like a lake 1 , far removed from our 
1 Geographic, book vn, chap. 5. 


western Ocean which passes by southern Ethiopia; and that 
between these two seas there was a strip of land 1 which made 
it completely impossible for any ship to enter the Indian Sea. 
Others said that the voyage was so long as to be impossible and 
that there were many sirens and great fishes and dangerous 
animals which made navigation impossible. 

Both Pomponius Mela (at the beginning of the second book 
and also in the middle of the third book of his De Situ Orbis *) 
and Master John Sacrobosco, an English writer skilled in the 
art of astronomy (at the end of the third chapter of his treatise 
on the sphere^), said that the country on the Equator was 
uninhabitable owing to the great heat of the sun, and since it 
was uninhabitable for this reason it could not admit of navigation. 
But all this is false and we have reason to wonder that such 
excellent authors as these, and also Pliny* and other writers who 
averred this, should have fallen into so great an error; for they 
all allow that India is the real East and that its population is 
without number. Since the real East is the Equator, which 
passes through Guinea and India, and since the greater part of 
this region is inhabited, the falsehood of what they wrote is 
clearly proved, for at the Equator itself experience has shown 
us that the land is thickly populated. Since experience is the 
mother of knowledge, it has taught us the absolute truth; for 
our Emperor Manuel, being a man of enterprise and great 
honour, sent out Vasco da Guama, Commander of the Order 
of Santiaguo, one of his courtiers, as captain of his ships and 
crews to discover and explore those seas and lands concerning 
which the ancients had filled us with such fear and dread; after 
great difficulty, he found the opposite of what most of the 
ancient writers had said. Passing beyond Rio do Infante, where, 
as we have said the discoveries and navigation of the most serene 
King John ended, Vasco da Guama sailed with his four ships 
round the unknown coast of Ethiopia under Egypt and dis¬ 
covered the Ethiopian town of Melinde, where he heard news 

1 Part of “ Terra Australis ” of later reports, believed to extend right round 
the world. 

* Actually the references come in book 1, chap. 4, and book in, chap. 7. 

* Traclatus de Sphaera. 

4 Op. cit. book u, chap. 68. 


of the India he was in search of; thence journeying 700 leagues 
across the great gulf, he discovered a part of the sought-for land 
of Lower India. 

Chapter ii 

Concerning the four ships which our lord the 
King sent to discover India. 

It was not desirable that too many or too large ships should be 
sent out on this voyage of discovery; accordingly our lord the 
King ordered the construction of four ships, the largest not to 
exceed a hundred tons, for the land being utterly unknown it 
was unnecessary that they should be larger. The reason was that 
they might be able to enter and leave any place on the coast 
easily, which they could not do if they were larger. They were 
built by excellent masters and workmen, with strong nails and 
wood; each ship had three sets of sails and anchors and three 
or four times as much other tackle and rigging as was usual. The 
cooperage of the casks, pipes and barrels for wine, water, 
vinegar and oil was strengthened with many hoops of iron. The 
provisions of bread, wine, flour, meat, vegetables, medicines, 
and likewise of arms and ammunition, were also in excess of 
what was needed for such a voyage. The best and most skilful 
pilots and mariners in Portugal were sent on this voyage, and 
they received, besides other favours, salaries higher than those 
of any seamen of other countries. The money spent on the few 
ships of this expedition was so great that I will not go into detail 
for fear of not being believed. The only return received by the 
prince for this outlay was the knowledge that some part of 
Ethiopia under Egypt and the beginning of Lower India had 
been discovered. Thus Vasco da Guama set out on this holy 
enterprise as captain-in-chief of four ships by virtue of the 
sacred majesty of this most serene prince, who sent him forth 
from the excellent city of Lisbon on Saturday the eighth day 
of June in the year of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1497; he returned 
two years one month and one day later and forthwith received 



great rewards and favours, with such honour and liberality as 
became the excellence of our Emperor Manuel, who sent him 
out. For his Highness conferred on him the title of Dom Vasco 
da Guama, which he did not previously possess, and gave him 
a coat of arms to honour his nobility; this serene prince also 
made him Admiral of the Indian Ocean, with jurisdiction over 
it, and gave him an income of 3,000 gold crusados, besides other 
favours, revenues, honours and exemptions. Thus his reward to 
Dom Vasco for the great services which he had rendered was in 
keeping with the magnanimity of his nature, endowed as he was 
with great goodness. 

Chapter iii 

Concerning the fleets which our lord the King sends out 
yearly to India since its discovery . 

Great achievements cannot be hidden, for they are seen by all, 
and their praise must be recorded so that they should not fall 
into oblivion; achievements so great as those of this most serene 
prince have every reason to be made known. His Highness 
orders the equipment of great fleets of twenty-five and thirty 
large ships, more or less according to the times and occasions; 
they are well manned and equipped, as well as, if not better 
than, the first ships sent out. With these he has conquered, and 
daily conquers, the Indian seas and the shores of Asia, killing, 
destroying and burning the Moors of Cairo, of Arabia and of 
Meca and other inhabitants of the same India, together with 
their fleet, by which for over 800 years they controlled their 
trade in precious stones, pearls and spices. Not only has he 
done this, but he has ordered the construction of five fortresses 
with their holy houses of prayer, where the blessed sacrament 
of the body of Our Lord Jesus Christ is daily celebrated. As a 
result many Indians, who were formerly ignorant of it, have been 
converted to the holy Catholic faith and have become Christians, 
and the evil sect of Mahomet is daily being destroyed and 
diminished. The Moors and their fleet are so confounded that 



the Venetians, who were accustomed to obtain spices and other 
merchandise from them and furnish Europe and Africa and part 
of Asia, are now totally deprived of this trade. But this fortunate 
prince, besides the great honour and eternal fame from his many 
victories in the conquest of these regions, receives yearly from 
his fleet 30,000 to 40,000 quintals 1 of spices and drugs, and 
many pearls and precious stones and other articles of great value, 
with which the whole world is furnished. Thus we may say that 
Almighty God by a singular privilege chose him from all the 
other princes of Christendom to spread His Catholic faith 
through these regions for His service. For it is certain that the 
holy, divine and ancient religion disseminated in these parts by 
the apostle St Thomas 3 has been entirely lost. We and our 
successors in the future, and all nations, must observe this 
marvellous and miraculous fact, that the 4,000 leagues of perilous 
navigation between Portugal and India were conquered and 
subdued and our Catholic faith spread through them at the 
bidding of this most serene prince. This is certainly the doing 
of Our Lord, Who gave him the strength of spirit and wisdom 
for so great an enterprise; for achievements so great were never 
performed by a timid, weak or avaricious person, but only by 
a man of courage and magnanimity. And when one considers 
achievements as great as these, the famous deeds of Alexander 
the Great and of the Romans are partly obscured by this great 
and holy conquest. 

Chapter iv 

Concerning the voyage and navigation of ships 
bound for India. 

In three months of the year principally should ships bound for 
India be ready to sail, January, February and March; and the 
best of these is February, although ships sometimes sail as late 
as April and make a prosperous voyage; but they should, if 

1 The Portuguese equivalent of the English hundredweight. 

* Vide book 1, Prologue, p. 5 note. 



possible, avoid this month, for it is rather late and they may 
encounter difficulties on such a long voyage. The fleet for India 
should have all its casks, pipes, barrels and other vessels re¬ 
inforced with hoops of iron, eight iron hoops to each barrel, 
for hoops of wood do not last long. Of provisions I do not 
speak, for it is known by now what is required for a voyage which 
usually lasts eighteen or twenty months. In the twenty-third 
chapter of our first book we have stated that a fleet leaving the 
excellent city of Lisbon, in which I, the author, Duarte Pacheco, 
was born, and where the fleets for the navigation to India are 
fitted out, should sail SSW 200 leagues, when they will be in 
latitude 28° north, off the seven islands of the Canaries. The 
fleet can pass these at a league, or much less than a league, from 
Ponta d’Andia 1 in the Isle of Forte Ventura and will then 
steer S by E. After forty-five leagues it will make the Angra 
dos Ruivos on the mainland, the landmarks of which we have de¬ 
scribed in the twenty-third chapter of the first book; they are the 
three hills of sand which rise above it, and its latitude, 25 0 north 
of the Equator. Three leagues off this bay there is fifty fathoms 
of water with a sandy bottom, and here there is plentiful fishing 
for the sustenance of the crews. And from here the fleet must sail 
along the coast in search of Cabo Verde as we shall say below. 

Item. By standing three leagues out at sea from Angra dos 
Ruivos and sailing SW by S along the coast, without touching 
land for ninety leagues it will be off Cabo Branco, of which we 
spoke in the last paragraph of the 23rd chapter of the first book. 
The cape will then be eighteen leagues distant to the East, the 
latitude at that exact point being 22 0 20' north; the pilot must 
be careful to take the latitude accurately in order to avoid all 
possibility of error. 

Item. The ship which is in this position off Cabo Branco 
must now sail 120 leagues S by E; it will then be off Cabo Verde, 
that is, 14 0 20' north of the Equator. The cape will be recognised 
by its latitude and by the painting and landmarks which we gave 
in the 28th chapter of the first book. You can anchor here and 
take in water and wood in the Angra de Bezeguiche, as you will 
see in the said chapter and illustration. 

* I.e. Jandia Point. 


Chapter v 

Concerning the ocean route to India from Cabo Verde. 

For the better understanding of our work we should state that 
the basis of the work was first to describe the whole of the coast 
of Ethiopia of Guinea and to tell of its discovery by the princes 
mentioned in this book, at whose command the navigation of 
these parts was, and still is, undertaken. We have already 
described the route along the coast to Rio do Infante, where the 
discoveries and navigation of the late most serene King John 
ended. There is, however, another shorter and more advantageous 
route from Cabo Verde across the ocean to India; it must 
therefore be described, so that nothing of importance shall be 
left unsaid. From Rio do Infante we will describe the coast in 
the direction of India which our lord the King discovered. 

Item. A ship bound from Cabo Verde to India should, with 
a favouring wind, sail due south 600 leagues, at the end of which 
it will be 19 0 south of the Equator; from this point, which is 
850 leagues from Cabo de Boa Esperanfa, its course should be 
ESE. In this way it will double the cape forty leagues out to 
sea, in a latitude of 37 0 south, Cabo de Boa Espcran^a then being 
to the NE by N, which is the direct course to the cape. It is 
only when the pilot is 37 0 south that he should steer NE, for if 
the latitude is less he will, by so doing, turn back to the coast 
of Guinea, except when he is in a latitude of 35 0 south, when the 
cape will be to the E and he will be opposite it. When, after 
reaching the latitude of 37 0 south, he has steered NE and come 
in sight of the cape, he must then coast along the shore to the 
Rio do Infante; this route is described in the eighth chapter of 
the third book and in the succeeding paragraphs. If he wishes 
to stand fifteen or twenty leagues out to sea, he may do so, but 
he should act throughout with caution and await favourable 
winds; when the wind is adverse, reason, prudence and ex¬ 
perience will teach him what should be done. In crossing the 
ocean from Cabo Verde he should keep a sharp look-out night 
and day for the great thunderstorms, which are accompanied by 


I 7 I 

winds of extraordinary violence; as soon as anyone sees a flash 
of lightning or a black cloud he should furl sail until the violence 
of the wind is past, for if he fails to do this, the ship may be 
wrecked, as others, through carelessness, have been wrecked 
before it. 

Chapter vi 

Concerning the discoveries of our King beyond 
the Rio do Infante. 

Our new task is to describe the discoveries of the most serene 
prince King Manuel our Sovereign beyond the Rio do Infante, 
including the whole of Ethiopia under Egypt, Arabia Felix, 
Persia and the manifold interests of the most wealthy kingdoms 
of India, together with the victories obtained there. Thus we 
will proceed with our plan on this toilsome journey, relating the 
truth as we have learned it from experience. 

Item. Rio do Infante lies...[the MS breaks off here]. 



It is evident from his various allusions to the Senegal that 
Pacheco shared the prevailing confusion about the hydro- 
graphical systems of West Africa. 

The idea of a western branch of the Nile was, of course, not 
new: it had been put forward in antiquity (e.g. by Pliny, who 
made the branch rise in the Atlas Mountains, Natural History, 
book v, chap. io). Moreover it was not altogether without 
foundation, for as early as Herodotus’s time some young 
Nasamonian travellers had penetrated southwards across the 
Sahara to “a great river.. .running from west to east...”— 
presumably the Niger (Herodotus, History , book u, chap. 32). 
For the most part, however, classical opinion followed Ptolemy, 
who held the Nile and Sudanese systems to be discrete. 

It was not until the tenth and eleventh centuries that the idea 
of a western branch of the Egyptian Nile was seriously put 
forward again—this time by Arab geographers who were in 
possession of the latest knowledge of the Saharan caravan routes. 
Edrisi, although not discussing the subject directly, leaves the 
reader in no doubt as to his own view. Thus, he says “ the Nile 
in this country [i.e. W. Sudan] flows from the east to the west.” 
Ships entering its mouth with salt “ascend as far as Silla, 
Tacrour, Barisa and Ghana.” Following the Nile eastwards he 
speaks of “ a place where the two Niles separate, that is to say, 
first the Nile of Egypt which crosses the country from north 
to south... and second the branch which flows from the east 
and flows towards the western extremity of the continent” 

{Description de VAfrique et de rEspagne _Translation by R. 

Dozy and M. J. de Goeje, passim). Leo Africanus, the last of the 
great mediaeval Arab geographers, makes the following observa¬ 
tions: “our cosmographers affirm that the river of Niger is 
derived out of Nilus, which they imagine for some space to be 
swallowed up of the earth and yet at last to burst forth into... 



a lake.... Some others are of opinion that this river beginneth 
westward to spring out of a certain mountain and so running 
east, to make at length a huge lake, which verily is not like to 
be true, for they usually sail westward from Tombuto to the 
Kingdom of Guinea, yea and to the land of Melli also...” 
(History of Africa , book I, p. 125). 

With increasing knowledge of the West African littoral, other 
alternatives were proposed. John Pory, in his Introduction to 
Leo’s History of Africa , written about 1600, says: ‘‘The river 
of Niger, running through the land of the Negroes... is now 
esteemed by Paulus Iovius to be Gambra and by Cadamosto the 
river of Senega: but that both of them are deceived, it is evident 
out of the description of Sanutus, who putteth down the two 
aforesaid rivers severally and thinketh Niger to be that which is 
now called Rio Grande [i.e. Jeba R.]. This river taketh its 
beginning, as some think, out of a certain desert to the east, 
called Seu, or springeth rather out of a lake and after a long 
race, falleth at length into the western ocean.... Senega, or 
Canaga, a most notable river...for the length thereof com¬ 
parable to Nilus.. .springeth, according to John Barros, out of 
two lakes, the greater whereof is now called the lake of Gaoga... 
as also out of a river named by Ptolemy Ghir.... Gambra or 
Gambea, a very great river lying between Senega and Niger... 
fetcheth his original from the lake of Libya and from the foun¬ 
tains which Ptolemy assigneth to the river of Niger...” (pp. 19 
et seq.). 

The recrudescence of the idea of a dual Nile during the latter 
part of the Middle Ages is, in view of the prominent part played 
by the Senegal-Niger systems in trans-Saharan commerce, 
readily understood. The fact that it was not until the nineteenth 
century that the separateness of the Senegal and the Niger 
Rivers from one another and from the Nile was discovered ceases 
to be surprising when we recall: 

(а) The relative decline of trans-Saharan commerce after the 
opening up of the sea routes. 

(б) The reluctance of the negro native to enlighten the trader, 
whether Moslem or Christian, on the country beyond the 
Savannah Zone—the source of his gold (vide Appendix No. III). 



( c ) The change in the character of the country south of 
the latitude of Timbuktu and its general unsuitability, both 
climatically and botanically, to the desert-loving Arab and his 
desert-loving camel. 

( d ) The confusion of the native negroes’ terms for lake, water 
and river, leading traders to conclude that all the great Sudanese 
rivers were inter-linked by great lakes in which they had their 


In this single statement, startling in its departure from the 
author’s well-deserved reputation for sobriety, Pacheco reveals 
both the vitality of mediaeval mythology and the credulity of the 
Renaissance mind. That men should, in the same breath, be able 
to speak with almost the exactitude of a modern Pilot book 
about the navigability of the Senegal River and the existence of 
mile-long serpents is not very remarkable, however, when we 
recall the popularity of the “Mirabilia”—wonder books—and 
the “Bestiaries” throughout the Middle Ages. The reading of 
these enchanted not only the common people, but men of 
education, and inspired the pictorial illustration of many of our 
most famous “mappae mundi,” e.g. the Hereford and Ebstorf 
maps. Pliny’s Natural History , Solinus’s Collectanea and the 
Treatise on Marvels , attributed to Aristotle, were among the 
most read works of the time. Aristotle’s authority was so great 
with the Portuguese of the fifteenth century that even the 
Proctors of the People were quoting his work in the Cortes (vide 
Santarem, quoted in Zurara, op. cit. Hakluyt Society Edition, 
p. 338). The seamen of our period, therefore, were steeped in 
the teratological traditions of antiquity, and it is difficult to 
over-emphasise the domination exercised in mediaeval and early 
Renaissance thought, in geography, natural history and eth¬ 
nology, as well as in other departments, by the pseudo-science 
of the “Mirabilia.” Zurara comes under it, even though he is 
somewhat more cautious than Pacheco. In chap. 52 he tells us, 
for instance, that the hornbills of the Ilha das Garzas (i.e. Heron 



Isle near Tider Isle) have “mouth and great that the 
leg of a man, however large it were, would go into it as far as 
the knee.” In chap. 60 he further declares that the size of the 
African elephant is “ so great that the flesh of one would make 
a good meal for 2,500 men.” 

Where did Pacheco derive the authority for his statement? 
Strabo speaks of Ethiopian serpents whose length he does not 
define but which are “so large that even grass grows upon their 
backs” (1 Geography , book xvii, chap. 3, para. 5). Pliny, another 
of his standard authorities, speaks of serpents ‘‘that seize and 
swallow birds that are flying above them, however high and how¬ 
ever rapid their flight ” (Natural History , book vm, chap. 14). 
With such imaginative precedents as these, it was not difficult 
for Pacheco to persuade himself of the existence of even larger 
reptiles. It would seem, however, from his remarks about the 
incredibility of these things to those that have no experience of 
them that he expected some of his readers to be less credulous 
than others. 


The silent barter of the Sudan which Pacheco describes at such 
length is as old as it is mysterious; moreover, literature and 
tradition show it to have been a widespread commercial custom 
between peoples who did not know or entirely trust each other. 
Herodotus described it as being a well-established practice in 
his day (History, book iv, chap. 196), and we read of it in various 
forms at intervals thereafter. Cosmas Indicopleustes wrote of 
it in the sixth century, Edrisi in the twelfth, Cadamosto in the 
fifteenth, Captain G. F. Lyon in the early nineteenth, and Mary 
Kingsley at the beginning of the twentieth century. Yet one and 
all are unable to claim personal acquaintance with the parties 
engaging in it, and only very few of them actually encountered 
first-hand evidence of it. 

Where was the land of this barter? It is not without signi¬ 
ficance that Pacheco tells us the distance, but not the direction; 
it was from the frontiers of Mandingua. Edrisi is no more 
helpful, for he only says that it was 8 days’ journey from Ghana, 



again without giving the direction. (Moreover Ghana is a lost 
city.) However, with the help of Cadamosto’s narrative {op. cit. 
pp. 57~8) and a statement of R. Jobson’s {op. cit. p. 301) the 
region of the Upper Volta would seem to be the rendezvous of 
the silent traders. The Bobo-fing and Lobi tribes who inhabit 
it and collect alluvial gold are even to-day described as being 
very taciturn and retiring, and have only recently allowed 
African traders into their country. It is furthermore a region 
infested by the tse-tse fly and therefore unhealthy for man and 
beast, and it lies in the tall grass savannah zone, that is, in the 
frontier zone between Moors and Berbers on the one hand and 
the negroes on the other. As these “frontier” peoples were 
frequently raided by their northern neighbours and sold into 
captivity, it is scarcely to be wondered at that they should prefer 
to remain unseen when bartering their gold; but whether the 
Sudanese slave trade gave rise to the silent barter or no, we have 
no means of telling. According to one recent observer, it 
originated, in all probability, from a sense of personal insecurity 
and has fetish in it, the natives holding it safer to leave so 
dangerous a thing as trafficking w r ith unknown beings—white 
things that were most likely spirits, with the smell of death on 
them—in the hands of their gods {vide M. Kingsley, West 
African Studies, pp. 210-12). 

If mystery surrounds the exact location of the gold marts, it 
has succeeded in completely enveloping the participants in this 
trade. How came it about that these traffickers were thought to 
be dog-headed? Two possibilities suggest themselves. In the 
first place the Arab designation for the pagans of this region 
(the Lemlem of Arab writings) was “ Benicaleb ”—son of a dog! 
Several early Renaissance maps of this region portray a cyno- 
cephalic monarch south of the western Nile and east of the black 
(but Moslem) king of Melli {vide Este and Borgian World maps). 
The second possibility is that the men with "the faces and teeth 
of dogs and tails like dogs” are not men at all but baboons 1 
These animals have a remarkably dog-like face and one species 
of them—West Africa boasts of several—has a tail and a black 
face (i.e. the Anubis baboon). Further, these animals wander 
about in companies, excavating the roots of grasses and other 





plants and leaving small holes behind them ( vide H. O. Forbes, 
A Handbook of the Primates , vol. I, pp. 253 et seq. y and S. Zucker- 
man, Social Life of Monkeys and Apes , p. 203). The fact that the 
whole transaction was concluded without any direct intercourse 
and at night , may well have given rise, in the minds of the greatly 
intrigued Moors, to the notion that the invisible traders were 
not ordinary men, but akin to the shy and elusive baboons of 
which they had doubtless caught many a fugitive glimpse. 1 

1 A fuller discussion on the source of the gold and the locality of the silent 
barter will be found in an article by E. G. R. Taylor, entitled “ Pactolus: 
River of Gold,” Scottish Geographical Magazine, 1927. 



By W. F. MORRIS, B.A., 

Lecturer in Cartography in 
the Utriversity of Heading 

The map represents an attempt to plot the coastal route from 
Ceuta to the Cape of Good Hope and beyond, as worked out by 
the Portuguese navigators during the fifteenth and very early 
sixteenth centuries, and described in the text of the Esmeraldo 
The map shows also the coast of Africa as now mapped, so that 
comparisons may be made. 

It is drawn on two sheets, partly for convenience, but also 
because, while there is a remarkable measure of agreement 
between Pacheco’s coastal outline and the modern map north of 
the equator, south of that line the agreement is not nearly so 
close. It is drawn on Mercator’s projection, for the following 
reasons: (i) the most reliable element in the plotting of Pacheco’s 
outline, especially north of the equator, would seem to be the 
bearings; (2) with parallels and meridians drawn at every half¬ 
degree it is comparatively easy to plot distances with reasonable 
accuracy; (3) plotting Pacheco’s and the modem outline upon an 
orthomorphic projection enables appreciation and comparison 
of shapes to be made. Pacheco furnishes the following material 
from which to plot: compass bearings, distances in leagues, 
astronomical latitudes and through bearings. He also describes 
landmarks in detail. 

Bearings. Pacheco uses a “card” of 32 points, on two 
occasions only using half-points. His bearings, therefore, are 
probably correct to within three or four degrees each way, 
within the limits of the accuracy of his instruments. From 
Arzila to Cape Kantim there is apparently considerable dis¬ 
crepancy between his outline and the modem map. From the 




latter point to about 6° S. they agree remarkably well. South of 
6 ° S. Pacheco’s outline, plotted by bearings and latitudes, is a 
fair reflection of the modem outline, but it deviates steadily 
westwards, until in the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope there 
is a difference in longitude of slightly more than four degrees. 
There would appear to be two reasons for this: (i) the greater 
body of knowledge and experience possessed in respect of the 
journey as t far as the equator by comparison with that available 
for the southern part; (2) compass variation. 

Pacheco gives no indication in the text that bearings had been 
rectified, nor does he mention compass variation, though he and 
his contemporaries were without any doubt well aware of it. 
“ For the navigation of Guinea [the Portuguese] made compasses 
corrected for a deviation north and a quarter north-east” 
(E. G. R. Taylor, Tudor Geography , p. 68), that is, for a magnetic 
variation of n£° E. This means that while the needle pointed to 
nJ°E. the card itself was correctly oriented, true north and 
south. But obviously the card would remain correctly oriented 
only so long as the variation was constant. As the variation 
changed so the rectified card would change also. Thus Pacheco, 
south of Arzila, gives a bearing South by West when the true 
bearing is much nearer S.S.W. Evidently, as they sailed farther 
south, the variation became for a time more easterly, so the 
bearing noted would be south of the true bearing. This, and not 
faulty observation, would account for the apparent incorrectness 
of the coastal outline in this region. Moreover, such variations, 
while affecting the plot of the route, would not affect navigation 
along that route, providing the same “make” of compass were 
used, and magnetic variation in a given region remained the 

Using this illustration it can be argued that from Arzila to 
Cape Kantim the rectified compass swung at first more to the 
east and then recovered itself, and that, from Cape Kantim, 
as far as 6° S., it remained approximately true to itself. There 
is evidence to support this argument. But from 6° S. to the 
Cape of Good Hope the plot by bearings and latitudes suggests 
a marked decrease of variation eastward, and this is contraryto 
the testimony of sixteenth-century voyagers. “In the island 



called Insula Corvi [i.e. Azores] it [the compass] declineth 
easterly 15 degrees” (Cunningham’s Cosmographical Glasse , 
quoted by Professor Taylor, Tudor Geography , p. 27). Captain 
John Lok, writing in 1554, on his voyage to Guinea, says, 
“Note that in 45 degrees the compass is varied 8 degrees to the 
west. Item, in 40 degrees the compass did vary 15 degrees 
(? E. or W.) in the whole. Item, in 30 degrees and a halfe the 
compass is varied 5 degrees to the weste” (Hakluyt’s Voyages , 
vol. iv). And one Thomas Stevens, writing from Goa in 1579, 
describing his voyage thither, says, “ The variation of the needle 
or compass, which in the region of the island of St Michael is 
just north, and thence swarveth toward the east so much that 
betwixte the meridian aforesaid and the point of Afrike it 
carricth three or four quarters of 32, and againe in the point of 
Afrike a little beyond the point that is called Cape das Agulias it 
retumeth againe unto the north, and that place passed, it 
swarveth again towards the west, as it did before proportionally” 
(Hakluyt’s Voyages , vol. iv). It is unlikely that in eighty years 
compass variation in these latitudes would have changed from 
“ three or four quarters ” eastward to almost as much westward, 
especially in view of the fact that north of the equator the 
variation remained still east. There is, therefore, a discrepancy 
between Pacheco’s and the true bearings, in these latitudes, 
which is not easily explained. 

The plot by direction and latitudes, south of about 17 0 S., 
has been adjusted for a general average decrease of magnetic 
variation eastward of 6°, bringing the Cape of Good Hope 
approximately to its correct longitude. So adjusted the plot 
gives a fair reflection of the modem outline. 

Distances . Pacheco expresses distances in leagues, 18 leagues 
to a degree of latitude. This was not the generally accepted 
Portuguese figure, which was 17J, but Pacheco’s was the more 

As with bearings, so with distances. As far as Cape Three 
Points there is very fair agreement. Between Cape Verde and 
Cape Palmas, Pacheco’s and the modern outline arc almost 
identical. From Cape Three Points eastwards along the Guinea 
Coast as far as Fernando Po there is increasing discrepancy, and 



south of the equator distances seem to have gone wrong alto¬ 
gether. It must have been difficult to estimate distances in those 
days. In respect of the coast as far south as Sierra Leone, sailors 
had gathered much information about winds, currents and tides; 
they had had many years in which to check their results and to 
compare notes about it; the behaviour of vessels, more or less 
fresh from their home ports, was more reliable. In equatorial 
regions alternate storms and calms must have made accurate 
reckoning extremely difficult. Thomas Stevens, quoted above, 
writes about this part of his journey as follows: “We arrived at 
length under the coast of Guinie... which is from the sixt 
degree of the equinoctial... sometimes the ship standeth there 
almost by the space of many dayes, sometimes she goeth, but in 
such order that it were almost as good to stand still. And the 
greatest part of this coast not cleare, but thickc and cloudy, full 
of thunder and lightening.” Moreover, they were sailing 
generally east and west, and since very few indeed amongst 
them could find longitude at all, and none of them accurately, 
they had no check upon the amount of easting made. So 
Stevens again: “You know that it is hard to saile from east to 
west.. .because there is no fixed point in all the skie whereby 
they may direct their course. Wherefore, partly by their own 
experience and pondering withal what space the ship was able 
to make with such a wind and such direction, and partly by the 
experience of others, whose books and navigations they have, 
they gesse whereabouts they be touching the degrees of longi¬ 
tude, for of latitude they be alwayes sure.” And this was in 1579. 

South of the equator Pacheco’s distances are very badly out. 
It can only be assumed that he had very much less information 
about this part of the journey and so had no check upon his 
figures. In any case he was evidently of the opinion that distances 
were not to be trusted too far, for he gives detailed descriptions 
of landmarks, and numerous sketches to reinforce the descrip¬ 
tions, so that recognition of the places named may be easy. He 
says also, more than once, that the surest guide to the position of 
any place is its latitude and the trend of the coast in its neigh¬ 

The effect of this inaccuracy with regard to distances south of 

appendix nr 


the equator is obvious in the unadjusted plot of bearings and 
distances. This places the Cape of Good Hope in latitude 
26S., eight degrees north of its true position, 144 leagues by 
Pacheco’s reckoning. For this reason the plot by bearings and 
latitudes has been added, and this gives a very much better 

Latitudes. Pacheco indicates two methods of finding latitudes: 
(1) from the altitude of the pole star, and (2) from the height of 
the sun at noon, taking into account its declination north or 
south. The instruments at his disposal were the astrolabe and the 

John II of Portugal had formed a junta of astronomers and 
mathematicians to investigate problems concerned with the 
science of navigation. They had addressed themselves particu¬ 
larly to the simplification of nautical instruments, and the 
determination of latitude south of the equator. They solved the 
latter problem by applying the method of finding the height of 
the sun at midday. For this method they prepared tables of 
declination for the use of sailors. They probably got these tables 
from the Almanack perpetuum , written in Hebrew, between 1473 
and 1478 by Abraham Zacuto, and translated by Master Joseph, 
who also may have produced from it the practical manual 
Regimento do Astrolabio e do Ouadrante. This last was printed 
before the end of the fifteenth century and was still in use in 
1 537 (Prestage, Portuguese Pioneers , p. 318). By the proper use 
of these instruments and tables sailors would find their ap¬ 
proximate position as regards the equator. 

Yet, in 1500, astronomical observations were the exception 
rather than the rule, and many of those who made observations 
were doubtful about their results. Master John, pilot to Cabral 
in his expedition to Brazil in 1500, writes: “It seems to me 
almost impossible to take the height of any star at sea for I 
labour much at it and however little the ship rolls there are 
mistakes of four or five degrees so that it can only be done on 
shore. At sea it is better to be guided by the height of the sun 
than by the stars and it is better to use the astrolabe than the 
quadrant or any other instrument.” 

To take an accurate observation, in low latitudes, from the 



deck of a small sailing ship, with a comparatively high centre of 
gravity and therefore prone to pitch and roll, using a hand 
instrument with no telescopic sights and graduated to degrees 
only, and sighting on a sun almost vertically overhead, must 
have been extremely difficult, and to get the latitude correct to 
within a degree must have been a considerable achievement. 

Pacheco’s latitudes are therefore, under the circumstances, 
extraordinarily accurate. He fails, inexplicably, to check his 
distances by his latitudes and vice versa; he gives what are 
obviously wrong figures for Arzila, 35 0 5o\ and for Rio do 
Larache, five leagues farther south, 36° 10', both south of 
Tangier, which he places in latitude 35 0 15'; there are in¬ 
consistencies in the latitudes given for places along the Guinea 
coast and one serious discrepancy south of the equator. Apart 
from these blemishes, however, his figures are very accurate 
indeed, averaging little more than 40 minutes out, with many of 
the most important points, such as Cape Verde and the Cape of 
Good Hope, much nearer than that. 

The map, therefore, illustrates the great skill of the Portuguese 
as navigators and the excellent results obtained. It is a pity 
that these results were not given earlier to the world, so that 
progress in Cartography might have equalled progress in naviga¬ 
tion and the construction of instruments. 


Abila, see Serra da Ximeira 
Abrantes, Marqueses of, xxx 
Acemsam, island, 24 
Acre, see Ancron 
Afecr, 15 

Afonso IV, King of Portugal, 44 
Afonso V, King of Portugal, passim-, 
character and achievements of, 

Afonso XI, King of Castille, 44 
Africa, passim ; boundaries and cir¬ 
cumference of, 154-56n; divisions 
of, 18-20; products of, 36 
Agadir Bay, see Narbaa 
Agenor of Libya, 15 
Agueda, 22 
Aguiloo, Cape, 59, 60 
Agulhas, Cape, 24 
Alaguoa, bay, 159 
Alaguoa, river, 115, 116 
Alaquequas, blood stone, 81, 88 
Albuquerque (in province of Bada- 
ioz), 22 

Albuquerque, Afonso d’, xiii, xiv, 

Alcaccrc Ciguer, xvi, xvii, 37,38,39, 

Alcali, 2? 

Alcansatma, 21 
Alcantara, 23 
Aldeas. bay, 24, 147 
Ale, port, 85, 86 
Alentcjo, 73, 117 
Alexander the Great, 168 
Alexander VI, Pope, 163 
Alfonso, see Afonso 
Alfragano, 100, 107 
Algarve, 161 
Algeciras, see Aljazira 
Alhamiz, 51 

Alixandria (Alexandria), 22 
Aljazira, 22 
Almadias, bay, 72 
Almancora, 43, 44 
Almaria, 22 
Almedina, 51 
Almeria, see Almaria 
Almina, Point, 36, 37, 38, 61 
Alquices, Moorish cloak, 60 
Alvor, 161 

Anburi (Anbur near Barcelona?), 21 
Ancoras, river, 91 

Ancron (Acre?), 21 
Anda, islands, 118 
An dam, port, 86 
Andeses, Negro tribe, 120 
Andia, Point, 68, 169 
Anifee, 44, 45, 50 
Anjadiva, island, 23 
Anjidiv, island; see Anjadiva, island 
Anterrote, 76 
Ante us, 38 
Antilles, xxiii 
Antipatcr, 141 
Antipodes, xxiv, 10 
Antrefulcos, Cape, 19, 46 
Antrelunho , 31 
Anzica (country), 144 
Arabia, 6, 57, 167 
Arabia Felix, 171 
Arabian Gulf, 2, 6, 36, 79, 140, 154, 

Arabs, 69, 7 ®, 72 , 74 
Area, Cape, 76 
Areaccs, 149 
Argentina (Strasburg), 22 
Arguim, island, 70, 72; hinterland 
of* 73“76 

Arguim, shallows, 72, 77 
Aries (Zodiac), 27 

Arraval de, 42 

Arzila, 22, 40, 49, 140; capture of 
by the Portuguese, xvi, xvii, 39,104 
Ascension, island, see Acemsam, 

Asia, passim; western boundary of, 

*5 . „ 

Assyria, 6 

Aten^a (Atienza in New Castille), 22 

Atis, Negro tribe, 120 

Atlantic Sea, 19, 155 

Atlantica, 19 

Adas Mts., 54, 58, *9, 173 

Atlas Mount, 19, 58, 59 

Audem, 60, 75 

Augusta Vindelicor[um] (Augs- 
berg), 22 
A villa, 22 
Axem, 117, 118 

Azambuja, Dieguo [Diogo] d’, xiii, 

xvii, 52, 119 

Azamor, 45, 46, 47, 56 
Azcncgues, 69, 72, 74 . 75 . 79 
Azevedo, Fernam Lopez de, 64 



Acevedo, Pedro de, xxxi 
Azores, 64, 101 

Babylonia, 6, 21 
Bafoor Mts., 76 
Bahaa, 89 
Baixas, Cape, 109 
Baixas, country of, 151 
Balamban, ebony, 82 
Baldaya, Afonso Gonsalves, 68, 
69, 7 * 

Balea, bay, 24, 151 
Banbarranaa, 89 
Banhauus, Negro tribe, 94 
Barbaciis, river, 86, 87 
Barbas, Cape, 23, 70, 71 
Barbate, river, 32 
Barcelona, 22 
Barisa, 173 

Barreiras, river, 137, 138 
Barr ocas, Point, 40 
Barr os, Jo 2 o de, 62 n 
Basto, Raphael de Azevedo, xxxi, 

Beafares, 92, 93 
Beetuu, 89 

Behaim, Martin, xxix 
Beifudos, the “thick-lipped” people, 

Belez da Guomeira, 46 
Benavente, 22 
Beni caleb, 177 
Bensaude, Joaquim, xi 
Beny, iax, 125-27, 145 
Berbers, 177 

Berbery Coast, 22, 66, 132 
Berlengas, islands, 52 
Bestiaries, 175 
Bety, 43 

Bezeguiche, bay, 23, 83, 169 
Bintonba, river, 96 
Bizcaya, 32 

Boa Esperanfa, Cape, passim; dis¬ 
covery of. 153-54; mountains of 
(identified with Montes Lunae), 
jot, 16, 154; regarded as southern 
limit of Guinea, 79 
Boa Vista, island, 24, 84 
Boboflng, Negro tribe, 177 
Bogia, see Boje 

Bojador, Cape, 2, 3, 23, 69; dis¬ 
covery of, 65-67 
Boje, Kingdom of, 81, 1:7 
Bona, 117 

Boroes, Negro tribe, 120 
Bota, Negro tribe, 134 
Boulooes, 97, 08, 106 
Braba, island, 84 

Branco, Cape, 23, 71. 72 . 77 . 169 

Bravas, islands, 105 

Brazil, land of, xiii, xxii, xxiii, 136 

Brazil, dye wood, 13 

Brcmus, Negro tribe, 120 

Brujas (Bruges), 22 

Buam, islands, 91 

Buarcos, 23 

Buda[pest] in Hungary, 22 
Buguubaa, river, 93 
Bulanham, 51 
Burguos, 22 

Caabite, river, 95 
Caaboo, Negro tribe, 134 
Caao, Dieguo, xxix, 142, Itf, 147 
Cabral, xin, xxii, xxiii, xxviii 
Cabras, islands, 145, 146 
Caya^a, 46 
Ciceres, 22 

Cacres, Negro tribe, 120 
Cadafalso (Cadalso), 22 
Cadamosto, 174, 176, 177 
Cadiz, see Calez 
Caesar Augustus, 8 
Cafy, 19. SO. St, 58 

Cairo, 18, 167 
Cali, 42 , 43 
Calccut, see Calicut 
Calez, 1, 2, 23, 36, 140 
Calicut, xiii, xxiii, 23, 92 
Calpe, see Gibraltar 
Camardes, river, 134 
Camboas, Point, 145, 146 
Camelo, Cape, 43 
Caminha, 23 

S ora, 22 

gua, the Palms of, 76 
gua, river, passim; arm of 
River Nile, 17, 80; source and 
character of, 78-83; Senegal- 
Niger-Nile controversy, 173-75 
Cananor (India), 23 
Canary, islands, 68, 169 
Cana veal, Point, 49, 50 
Cancer, Tropic of, 28, 30, 85 
Cancer (Zodiac), 27 
Canopus, 18 
Candm, Cape, 23, 49, 53 
Cantor, 87 

Cao, Diogo, see CaSo, Dieguo 
Cape Sines, see Ho de Sines 
Capes, Negro tribe, 94 
Capricorn, Tropic of, 28, 30, 149 
Capricorn (Zodiac), 27 
Captor, 22 
Caribbean Sea, xxii 
Cartagena, 23 

INDEX 187 

Carthage, 140 

Carvoeiro, Cape, 71 

Casa do Cavaleiro, 48, 49 

Casamansa, river, 90 

Case, river, 95, 96 

Castello Real, 52, 53 

Castillc, 44, 47 

Castro, Joao dc, xxvi 

Catay (Cathay), x8 

Caterina, Cape, 3, 127, 138, 141 

Cavallos, bay, 23, 68 

Cebu, 42 

Cclius, 141 

Cepta, xvi, x8, 22, 32, 36, 37, 38, 39, 
46, 47 , 56, 58. 61, 155 
Cestos, river, 23, 109, xio, 112 
Ceuta, see Cepta 
Cezilia (Sicily), 21, too 
Chalam, forest of, 77 
Chaldea, 6 
Chios, islands, 160 
Chaul, see Xaul 
China, see Chis 
Chios, see Xio 
Chis, 18 
Cithas, 6, 15, 18 
Clear Mts., see Atlas Mts. 

Cobales, 108 
Cochim, see Cochin 
Cochin, xiii, 23 
Coelho, Gon5aIo, xxii 
Coeyta, si 

g ofala, 4, 24, 79 
ollonha Agripina (Cologne), 22 
Colonia, 23; see also Collonha 

Columbus, Christopher, xxxii 
Comceip9am, bay, 24, 150, 151 
Conguo, Kingdom of, 143 
Constancia, 22 
Constantinople [a], 15, 22 
Cooro, market of, 81 
Cor90, Cape, 122, 123 
Cordova, 22 
Cori Mori, islands, 24 
Corisco, island, 135 
Correntes, Cape, 24 
Corte Real, Gas par, xxii, xxiii, 

Cortcsao, Jaime, xvii, xxviii 
Corvoeiro, Cape, 7 x 
Cosmas, Indicopleustes, 176 
Costa, Fontoura da, xii 
Coulam, 23 
Covilan, 22 
Coya, 98, 108 
Crass us, Marcus, 5 
Cristal, river, 95 

Cruz, island, 4,6, 24,156; discovery 
of, 160, x6x 
Cuencua, 22 

Cunha, Rodrigo da. Bishop of 
Oporto, mi 

Dacia, see Norway, 18 

Damasco, 21 

Damiata, 21, 155 

Daroca, 23 

David, King, xx 

Delgado, Cape, 24 

Demosthenes, 7 

De Situ Orbis, see Mela 

Dias, Epiphanio da Silva, xvii 

Diaz, Bertholameu, 151, X53, 160 

Diaz, Denis, 78 

Dobancoo, 88 

Dogface people, 89 

Don, river, see Tanais, river 

Duquella, 47 

Ecija, 22 
Edrisi, 173, 176 
Egipto, see Egypt 
Eguorebo, Negro tribe, 114 
Egypt, in, 16, 17, ax, 73 
Egypt, sea of, 80, 155 
Elam, 6 

Emcuqua-anzico, Lord of Anzica, 

Emsery, lake, 74 
Emzaze (Congo), river, 143 
Encalhor (£anagu£), river, 78 
Enciso, xix 
Enqee, 96 

Escobar, Pedro d\ 118, 13371 
Escravos, coast of, xi2, 113 
Escravos, river, 3, 23, 128, 155 
Esdras, prophet, 13 
Esmeralda deSitu Orbis, 8; date of, xvi, 
xvii; meaning of name, xvii-xviii; 
MSS. and editions of, xxx-xxxii 
Espartel, Cape, 23, 38, 39, 49 
Estevez, Alvaro, 1x8 
Estevez, Martin, 118 
Estora, 117 

Ethiopia, passim'. Lower Ethiopia, 
19, 67, 68, 78; Upper Ethiopia, 
68, 79; discovery of, 61 et seq., 
148, 150; Ethiopia under Egypt, 
4, 150, 15a, 156, 164, 166, 171; 
Ethiopias of Guinea, 2, 18, 36,105, 
120, 132, 136, 137 , IS 5 . *791 
Ethiopias of Trogouditas, 155 
Ethiopians, 73, 80, 100, 107; con¬ 
version of, 63, 141; explanation of 
colour of, 9 



Eudoxus, 2, 6, 36, 140 
Eugene IV, 2, 63, 64 
Europe, xxv, 6, 12, 13, 19. 35 . * 55 ; 
boundaries of, 15, 18; excellence 
of, 20 

Evora, xxxi 

Evora, Soeyro Mendez d\ 72 
Exale, 42 
Exnouvia, 42 
Ezarziguy, 75 

Faleiro, Francisco, xxvi 
Faleiro, Ruy, xxvi 
Falulo, 01 
Famenda, 94 
Fante, the Greater, 122 
Fante, the Less, 122 
Fayal, island, 23 
Fedala, 43, 44 

Feez, 22, 42, 81; Kingdom of, 46 et 
seq .; produce and trade of, 56, 57 
Feleuu, 81 
Fermosa, bay, 24 

Fermoso,Cape. 23, nx, 130,131,133 

Fermoso, river, 23, 12s, 127, 128 

Fernahu, island, 24 

Femam do Poo, 133 

Femam do Poo, island, 23,133,134 

Fernandez, Ruy, 58 

Fernando, King of Portugal, 44 

Ferrarias Mts., 51 

Finis Terra, Cape, xiv, 12, 23 

Flanders, 66, 112 

Flemings, xxviii, 112, 113 

Foguo, island, 84 

Forcados, river, 128, 129, 130 

Fomilho, 41 

Forte Ventura, island, 23, 68, 169 
Freytas, Lanfarote de, 78 
Frio, Cape, 24 
Furna d'Acicor, 45, 46 

Gaditanian, coast, 15, 18 
Gaditanian Straits, 35 
Galinhas, river, 107 
Galiza (Galicia in Spain), 32 
Gama, Vasco da, xvi, 165, x66, 167 
Gambia, river; tee Guambea, river 
Ganboas, river, 105 
Ganges, 18 
Gaoga, lake, 174 
Garzas, island, 175 
Geeguu, city of, 124 
Genesis, 11 

Genoese, castle of the, 40 
Genova, 22 
Germany, xxix 
Ghana, 173, 176, 177 

Ghir, river, 174 
Gibandor, country' of, 87 
Gibraltar, xv, 2, 35. 36, 144 
Gilliannes, 66, 67, 68, 69 
Gold, the silent barter in, 99, 176-78; 
trade in, 75, 81, 88 et seq., 98, 118, 
120-21, 122 

Gon^alo de Sintra, bay, 70, 71 
Gontjalvez, Antcm, 75 
Good Hope, Cape of, see Boa 
Esperanca, Cape 
Graada (Granada), 22, 66 
Grana Paradisy, maleguette pepper, 

Grande, river, 23, 79 . * 74 ; descrip¬ 
tion of, 91 et seq Negroes of, 92, 
93 . 94 . 96 

Guabam, river, 24, 135, 136 
Guabuu (Guambea), river, 88 
Guadalajara, 23 
Gualcc, rock, 71 

Guama, Vasco da, see Gama, Vasco 

Guambea, river, 23, 80, 90, 174; 

hinterland of, 87-89 
Guardafune, Cape, 6, 73, 79 
Guer, Cape, 23, 53, 55 . 60 
Guinea, xiii, xix, 3, 70, 7 *. 77 , 79 , 
133, 141, 165, 170, 174; discovery 
of, 101; gold from, 50, 55, 59, 75 5 
inhabitants of, 136, 144, 154; 
Portuguese trade with, xxviii, 74 
Guinea Ocean (Southern Atlantic), 
136, X 55 

Guoguliis, 92, 93, 94 
Guorguonas (Azores), 101 

Hacanys, Negro tribe, 120 
Haguost, 60 
Hahytemosy, 60 
Ha lagunas, 41 
Ham, son of Noah, 14 
Hanno, 2, 6, 3611, 140 
Haranha, 79 
Harcfees, river, 24 
Harouchc, 105 
Hazamor, 22 
Hazara, see Sahara 
Hellespont, 15 

Henry, Prince, xii, 3,6,60,63,68-72, 
75, 78, 85, 98, 105, 146, 150; 
achievements of, too, 101; at 
Ceuta, xvi, 6x; character of, 61, 
62; discovery of Madeira by, 2; 
revelation of God to, 62 
Hercules, 35, 38 
Herodotus, xx, X73, 176 
Hesperides, promontory of, 83, 84 



Hita, see Hvta 
Ho de Sines, 23 
Hoexantc, 23 
Homer, m, 2, 7, 12 
Hooguanec, King, 126 
Hudson, strait, xxii 
Huela, Negro tribe, 129 
Huguatoo, town, 125 
Hyperborean Mts., 18 
Hyta, 22 

Ibn-al-Wardi, xvii 
Idolos, islands, 23, 94, 95, 97 
Iherosalem, see Jerusalem 
Ilheos, islands, no, in 
India, xxviii, 1, 3, 6, 36, 60, 68, 79, 
141, 150; discovery of, 4, 101, 148, 
1154, 156, 164 el seq.; Pacheco in, 
xiii, xiv, xvi; pepper of, 126, 127; 
Lower India, 5, 166 
India House, xxix 
Indian Sea (Ocean), 164, 165, 167 
Indo (Indus), river, 79 
Infante, river, xix, 24, 160-61, 165, 

Infante, Point, 157 
Infante, Joham, 160 
Iovius, Pa ulus, 174 

Italy, 51, 144 

, aalomansa, 94 
. aalunguas, Negro tribe, 94 
. acob, Bishop of Valencia, n 
, acome, Master, xii, 100 
, aem, 23 
, alancoo, 88 

' alofo, Kingdom of, 78-80, 88, 101; 
Negroes of, 72, 97, 154 
amnamsura, 88 
, any, 80 

apheth, son of Noah, 14 
cbcl Hadid, see Ferrarias 
, crusalem, 5, 21 
, oham Lopez de Sequeira, 55 
J ohn I, King of Portugal, xvi, 39, 61, 
63. 64 

John n, King of Portugal, passim ; 
character of, 139, 140; death of, 
161; discoveries of, 144 ct setf. 
ohn V, King of Portugal, xxxi 
os, Negro tribe, 129, 130, 132 
unco, river, 109 

Kingsley, Mary, 176, 177 „ . 

Kuna Muna, islands; see Con 
Mori, islands 

Lagea, 113 

Lagos, in Portugal, 118 
Laguo, 23, 123, 124 
Lama, 79 

Lanbens, mantle, 117, 120 
Lancaster, Duke of, 61 
Larache, 40, 41 
Latirus, King, 2 
Ledo, Cape, 97, 99, 105, 106 
Legion (Leon), 22 
Lemlem, 177 

Leo African us, xxi, 173, 174 
Leo (Zodiac), 84 
Libra (Zodiac), 27 
Libya, 19, 155 
Licosaguou, King, 126 
Lisboa, see Lisbon 
Lisbon,xiii,xiv, xxiii,xxx,xxxi,xxxii, 
3, 22, 44, 60, 67, 68, 79. 118, 156, 
166, 169 
Liza, 39 

Lizards (Crocodiles), 82, 89 
Lobi, Negro tribe, 177 
Logronho, 22 

Lopo Gonpalvez, Cape, 24, 134, 
135, *36, 137 
Lorca, 22 

Ludca, Arab tribe, 75 
Lunae, see Mountains of the Moon 
Lusitania, province of, 67 
Lyon, Captain G. F., 176 

Maabaar, 5 

Macareo, tidal bore, 91-92 
Machado, Barbosa, xxx, xxxi 
Madeira, 2, 23, 64, 100 
Madrid, 23 
Maguadaxo, 23, 79 
Mahomet, 57, 74, 75, 80, 90, 92, 167 
Majorca, 100 
Malagueta, 3, 23, 106, 114 
Malipor, 5 

Mamora, river, 41, 42 
Mandingua(s), 73, 79, 80, 88, 89, 
90, 92. 93. 97. 120, 154, 176 
Mangua das Areas, 24, 147 
Maniconguo, 4, 63, 143. 144. *45 
Manuel 1, Emperor, passim; cha¬ 
racter of, 163, 164; discoveries 
under, 150, 156, 165 et seq. 
Maquinez, 47 
Marrocos, 50, 51 
Martellus, Germanus, xxix 
Martin V, Pope, 2 
Marzy, village of, 75 
Mastos, Cape, 23, 85 
Mauretania, 19, 36 
Maurs, see Moors 
Mayo, island, 84 



Mayo, river, 116 

Mazaguam, 47, 48 

Meca, in Africa, s6, 58, 59 

Meca, in Arabia, ax, 167 

Meca, river, $6 

Medea, 6 

Medelim, 22 

Medina del Campo, 22 

Mediterranean Sea, xxi, 15, 18, 19, 

Mela, Pomponius, xvii, xx, 2, 14, 
38, 68, 165 
Melilla, 19, 46 
Melinde, 23, 79, 165 
Melli, 174, *77 # . 

Meluya, river, 46, 56 
Menclaus, x, 6, 18, 36, 140 
Mcqua, straits of, 73, 79 
Merida, 22 
Meroe, island, xxi, 16 
Mesurado, Cape, 108 
Mexico, Gulf of, xxii 
Mina, Casa da Lisbon, 74 
Mina, see S. Jorze da Mina 
Mirabilia, 175 
Moguador, island, 52, 53 
Mohammedans, see Moslems 
Mombasa, 24, 79 
Mondeguo, river, 145 
Monos, river, 108 
Monsombique, 24, 79 
Monte, Cape, 23, 106, 107, xo8 
Montes Lunac, see Mountains of 
the Moon 

Moors, passim; of Berbery, 132; 
capture of Arzila from, 104, 140; 
capture of Ceuta from, xvi, 39,61; 
conquest of Spain by, 40, 41; 
trade with Guinea, 55, 59, 74. *77, 

Morros da Pcdra, 24 
Moslems, 92, 94, 97 
Mountains of the Moon, xx, x6, 

* 54 . 

Murcia, 22 

Nam, Cape, 2, 3, 23, 60, 63, 64, 65 
Nanuus, river, 93 
Napoles (Naples), 22 
Narbaa, watering place, 54, 55, 56 
Narbona, 22, 23 

Natural History (Pliny), 2, xx, 16, 20, 
38. 39. 59. 04. *40; tee also Pliny, 

Negro, river (Canagui, river), 80 
Negro, Cape, 24, 148 
Negro, Monte, 147 
Negroes, 63, 174 

Nepos, Cornelius, 141 
Neto, Pedro Gonyalves, 1x3 
Niebla, 22 

Niger, river, x 73-75; see also 

Nile, river, passim; birth and course 
of, xxi, 16, 80, 154; delta of, 
17 et seq.; description of, 155; Nile 
as eastern boundary of Africa, 
xx, 15; Senegal-Niger-Nile con¬ 
troversy, 173-75; tee also Qanagui 
Noah, 24 

Non, Cape; see Nam, Cape 
Noronha, Fernao de, xxii 
North America, xxii, xxiii, xxxii 
Norvegia, see Norway 
Norway, 18, 22 
Nunes, Pedro, xxvi 
Nuno, river, 93 

Ophir, 4 

Oporto, 23 

O Porto d’el Rey, 37 

Opuu, country of, X27 

Order of Christ, 61, 64, 75, 100, 163 

Order of Santiaguo, 165 

Order of S. Bento, 52, 163 

Ortiz, Diogo, Bishop of Vizeu, xiv 

Osorio, Jeronimo, xv 

Ouram (Oram), 117 

Ouro, river, 23, 68, 69, 70 

Pacheco, Duarte, birth of, xiii, 67, 
169; public life of, xiii et seq.; date 
of his Esmeraldo, xvi, xvii; his debt 
to tradition, xix-xxiii; his nautical 
rulings, xxiv-xxviii; death of, xvi 
Pacheco, Joao, xiii 
Pacheco, Joao Fernando, xvi 
Padram, Cape, 24, 150 
Padram, river, xxv, 24, X42, 143, 

Palencia, 23 
Palestine, 6 

Palma, island; near Cestos, river, no 
Palma, island, 83 
Palma, castle, 54 

Palmas, Cape, 23, 113, 114, X15, 117 

Palmas, river, 106, 107 

Palude Meotis, 15 

Pam de NSo (Akem Peak), 123 

Panplona, 22 

Papagia (Brazil), xxiii 

Paralipomenon, 5 

Paris, 22 

Parthia, 6 

Pasqualigo, Pietro, xxiii 
Patte, 79 


Pedras, Point, 148 

Pedras, coast of, 150 

Pena do Cervo, 44 

Penedo das Fontes, 4, 159, 160 

Pepper, 108 et seq., 126, 127 

Pequeno, river, 131 

Pereira, Gabriel, xxxi 

PerepinhS (Perpignan), 22 

Persia, 6, 79. 156, 171 

Persian Gulf, 6, 156 

Pescadores, river, 93 

Philip, Queen, 61 

Phoenicia, 6 

Pichel, river, 93 

Pico, island, 23 

Pina, Ruy de, xxviii 

Pires, Angra de Ruy, 148, 149 

Pires, G., xiii 

Pisa, 22 

Pius II, Pope, 103, 104 
Pixotas, fish, 54 

Plaso, Cape (Prasum Promontorium 
of Ptolemy), 154 

Pliny, Caius, xx, xxi, 2, ir, 16, 20, 
38, 39. 59. 68, 84, 140, 165, 175, 

Pole Star, 38 
Porto Real, 24 
Porto Seguro, 24 

Portugal, xi, xxvi, xxviii, xxix, 
xxx, 12, 39. 60, 84, 88, 101, 120, 
131, 124, 141, IS5, 163, 166, 168 
Portugal, Aldea de, 114 
Pory, John, 174 
Pray a, Cape, 115 
Praya, Point, 153 
Preta, Point, 146-47 
Primeiras, islands, 24 
Primeiro, river, 124, 125 
Principe, island; see S. Antonio, 
Psalter, n 

Ptolemy, xx, xxi, 16, 17, 59, 15s, 
164, 174 

Quiloa, 24, 79 
Quynamo, 107 

Ramos, river, 129, 130 
Raxete, see Canopus 
Real, river, 131, 132 
Red Sea, 73, 79 
Redes, Cape, 122, 123 
Regimento, xi, xxv 
Reinel, Rodrigo, 75 
Requena, 23 

Resguate do Genois, ill 
Rico, bay, 159, 160 

I 9 I 

Riphaean Mts., 15 
Rivara, Sr., xxxi 
Rodes (Rhodes), 21 
Rodizio, the device of King Afonso V, 

Rodrigo, King of Spain, 58 
Rodrigues, J., xiii 
Roma, see Rome 
Romans, 168 
Rome, 5, ax, 57 
Roteiro, xii 
Roxo, Cape, 90, 91 
Ruivos, bay, 23, 67, 68, 169 

Sabuu, 122 

Sacrobosco, John, 165 
Sagres, bay, 61 
Sagres, Cape, 94, 95 
Sagres, School of, xii 
Sahara, 69, 74, 173-75 
S. Agostinho, Cape, 24 
S. Amaro, island, 24 
S. Amaro, bay, 149 
S. Andr6, river, 115 
S. Angelo, Cape, 23 
S. Anna, Cape, 23, 106 
S. Anna, bay, 105, 106 
S. Antonio, island (Principe island), 
3, 24, 84, 137 
St Augustine, 50 
S. Barbara, island, 24 
S. Barbara, river, 131 
S. Bento, river, 131 
S. Brandam, Point, 156, 157 
S. Bras, bay 24, 157, IS8, 159 
S. Christova, island, 24 
S. Crara, island, 24 
S. Cremente, river, 113 
S. Cruz, £5 

S. Domingos, river; near Cape 
Roxo, 91 

S. Domingos, river; near S. Jorze 
da Mina, 132 
S. Elena, bay, 24, 153 
S. Francisco, river, 24 
S. Ilefonso, river, 131 
S. Joham, river; near Arguim, 76 
S. Joham, river; near S. Jorze da 
Mina, 118 

S. Jorze da Mina, passim ; establish¬ 
ment of factory, 119-20; commerce 
at, 120-21 

S. Louren^o, island, 24 
S. Louren^o, Point, 146 
S. Luzia, island, 24 
S. Luzia, Point, 24 
S. Luzia, river, 24 
S. Maria, forest of, 108 



S. Maria, shallows of, 87 
S. Maria, bay; near Cape Branco, 71 
S. Maria, bay; near Pont* Preta, 146 
S. Maria da Vitoria da Batalha, 
monasters’, 64, iox, 161 
S. Maria d’Arabida, 24 
S. Martha, Point, 24 
S. Miguel, island, 23 
S. Miguel, watering place, 24 
S. Nicolao, island, 24, 84 
S. Paulo Mts., 109 
S. Paulo, Cape, 123 
S. Paulo, river, 108, 109 
S. Pedro, river, 115 
S. Roque, 24 
S. Roque, Cape, xvii 
S. Sebastiam, Cape, 24 
S. Thiago de Cabo Verde, island, 23 
S. Thom6, bay, 24 
S. Thom6, island, 3, 24, 136, 137 
S. Thomas, Apostle, 5, 168 
S. Vincente, Cape, 23, 53, 59. 61 
S. Vincente, island, 24, 84 
S. Vincente, river, m, 112, 113 
Sal, island, 24 
Salado, battle of, 44, 50 
Salamanca, 22 
Salt , 74, 176-78 
Samoa, town, 118, 119 
Samuri, xiv 
Santarem, 22 
Santarem, Jo ham de, 118 
Santiago, island, 64, 84, 8s 
Santiaguo, Santiago de Compos¬ 
tela, 22 

Sanutus (Sanuto), 174 
Saraguoca, 23 
Sardcnha (Sardinia), 21 
Satyrs, 98 

Savecs, river, 51, S2 
Scilly Islands, see Sorlingua 
Scythia, see Cithas 
Seem, Cape, 53 
Scguovca, 22 
Sena, 22 

Senegal, river; see £anagui, river 
SerxmL 37 
Scrra Bota, 135 
Serra de Brapam, 95 
Serra de Fernam do Poo, 133, 134 
Serra Guerreira, 24, 134, 135 
Serra Lyoa, 2, 3, 21, 93. 105, 106, 
108; discovery and description of, 
96 et seq. 

Serra da Pena, 152 

Serra dc S. Apolonia, 116, 117, 118 

Serra da Ximeira, 35, 36 

Seu, desert of, 174 

Sevilha, 22, 50 

Shem, son of Noah, 14 

Sheppard, Dr George, xviii 

Sicily, see Cezilia 

Siena, see Sena 

Sierra Leone, see Serra Lyoa 

Silla, 173 , « , 

Silva, Luciano Pereira da, xviii 
Singuyty, village of, 75 
Sintra, Pero de, 98, 132 
Sintra, town of, 105 
Siqueyra, Ruy de, 138 
Sixtus IV, Pope, 2 
Snakes, 82, 137, I75“7 6 
Soeyro, Da Costa, 116 
Soeyro, river, 116 
Sofala, see Cofala 
Solinus, 175 
Solomon, King, 5, 139 
Soria, 22 
Sorlingua, 23 
Souzos, Negro tribe, 120 
Spain, xviii, xxvi, xxvii, 7, 30, 32, 36, 
50. 98 

Strabo, Marcus, of Cappadocia, 
xx, xxi, 1, 176 
Subou, country of, 129 
Sudan, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177. *78 
Suecia, 22 
Sutucoo, 87, 88 
Sweden, see Suecia 

Tacrour, 173 

Tafcineh, see Tafetana 

Tafetana, 53 

Taguaost, 60 

Tauveira, 22 

Tamara, river, 95, 96 

Tambucutu, 74, 80, 81, 174, 175 

Tanais, river, xx, 15, 16, 19 

Tanger, xvi, x9, 22, 37, 38, 39, 104 

Tangier, see Tanger 

Tanguarim, 96 

Taragona, 23 

Tara mate, castle, 54 

Tarifa, 44 

Taurus (Zodiac), 84 

Tedenez, 51 

Teebuu, 125 

Tefinete, 56 

Tenez, 1x7 

Ter^a Naval, 61 

Terceira of the Azores, island, 23 
Terra Alta, 68 

Teymenes, Negro tribe, 96, 97 
Teza, 47 
Themicinaa, 42 
Thomar, town of, 75 



Thracian Straits, 15 

Tifil Felti, 43 

Timbuktu, see Tambucutu 

Tingitania, 19, 36, 155 

Tingy, see Tanger 

Todolos Santos, bay, 24 

Tofla, Point, 76 

Toledo, 22 

Tolosa (Toulouse), 22 

Toom, 89 

Tordelaguna, 23 

Torre do Tombo, 3 

Torre Laguna, see Tordelaguna 

Torto, village of, 119 

Tortosa, 22 

Touro, 22 

Trap ana, 23 

Trcmecem, 46, 56, 117 

Tres Pontas, Cape, 116, 117, 118 

Tripoli of Berbery, 81, 155 

Tripoli of Soria, 81 

Trogouditas, Ethiopias of, 155 

Trosilho, 22 

Trujillo, see Trosilho 

Tucuroees, Negro tribe, 97 

Tucurol, Kingdom of, 80, 81 

Tucurumu, castle, 54 

Tullius, Marcus, 7 

Tunez, see Tunis 

Tunis, 81, 117 

Turks, 103 

Turucuco, castle, 54 

Turulo, island, 100 

Tyciguonc, 60 

Tynyguuhy, village of, 75 

Tyty, 48 

Ugueer, see Casa do Cavaleiro 
Ultima Thylle, 8 

Ushant, see Hoexante 
Vacas, Cape, 157 

Valen^a (Valencia), in the province 
of the same name, 23 
Valen^a (Valencia), in the province 
of Cdceres, 22 
Valhadolid, 22 
Venetians, 168 
Vencza (Venice), 22 
Verde, Cape, 23, 72, 77, 78, 80, 83, 
84. 85, 86, 90, 91, 96, 99, 169, 

Verga, Cape, 23, 93, 94 
Verona, 22 

Vespucci, Amerigo, xxii 
Viana (Vienne in Dauphin6), 22 
Villena (Vilhana), 22 
Vincent of Beauvais, xxi, 13 
Virgil, 8 
Vitoria, 22 

Volta, river, 23, 123, 177 
Voltas, bay, 24, 152 

Wadi Mesa, see Tefinete 
Wadi Tensift, see Savees, river 

Xamez, 40 
Xarquya, 47 
Xaul, 23 
Xio, island, 23 

Ydamen, lake, 74, 75 

Zebiliquy, bay, 53 
Zeguebos, 109 
Zodiac, sign of, 27 
Zurara, Eannes de, xii, xxviii, xxx, 



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- Outline of coast as now mapped- 

- Plot of bearings and distances as given by Pacheco-unadjusted. 

Pacheco's bearings and distances adjusted to his latitude for 
Cape Verde and for longitude. 

Pacheco's bearings and distances southfrom Cepe Verde, 
unadjusted for either latitude or longitude. 

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- Outline of coast as now naff ad. 

(Continuation of flat by boatings aiul distance f. 

) unadjusted . 

- Plot by bearings and latitudes, ignoring distances 

( Plat by bearings and latitudes adjusted for 
assumed decrease of magnetic variation eastward. 
Modern names underlined. Mercator's f rejection. 

Hakluyt Society 





Catalogue No.SIu. 4/?er/Ki i». - L^ -» 

Author— 3 Pereira, Dusrte 

Data of Return 

Borrower No.